"I was introduced to Blue Rodeo in the spring of 1988. They played a gig during my school's (Lake Forest College in Illinois) spring wing-ding weekend (you know the type). While most of spoiled preps ignored them, they blasted out a series of smart, honest, hook-filled songs that left me transfixed. After they ended their set with a mind-bending, feedback-filled 10-minute freakout jam, my roommate and I approached them to let them know that some people appreciate good music. They were great -- Greg and Jim chatted with us and their road manager gave us a cassette of the first album, "Outskirts." I thought it was tremendous then and I still do today. Imagine if -- back in the spring of 1966 -- John Lennon and Paul McCartney had hooked up with Bob Dylan and the Band. That's basically the sound and feel of Blue Rodeo on "Outskirts", and its successors, "Diamond Mine" and "Casino". After that, they started to grow more in the so-called "alt-country" direction, which isn't really my bag, I'm afraid. But their first three albums are classic rock music."
"Would I have to select 10 of out of my 500 CD treasures and then quit to nowhere out-there, I'd go for 5 Blue Rodeos, 3 Steve Earls and 2 Todd Thiebauds. Non-purists should keep away from Outskirts because they do not deserve such great stuff. From inner kicks (Try, Piranha Pool) to the velvet bite of Outskirts and the many bluesy rollers make this CD probably the most quite of all the Blue Rodeos but also one of the most genuine. Go also for the latest CD "The days in between" from 2000 - its great too! The problem is to get it. Sad to say that these guys are literally unknown in Europe. But then, we are always one step behind. Just for fun, I already booked 2 flight tickets to London from Geneva when I realised that these guys play in London/... U.S.A. - Damn! Have good fun!"
G. Sawaged | Canada | 12/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blue Rodeo is one of the greatest rock bands to come out of Canada. And 15 years later, they are still going strong, as well as Greg and Jim having some solo outings along the way. This is a terrific debut that hinted at the greatness to come. Every song here is good, no filler. The gorgeous ballad 'Try' is one of the nicest ballads I have heard, and is also popular on country stations as well as rock. Hence the 'Rodeo' in the bands name. Jim said in an interview that it's to highlight the little bit of country that they put into their albums. The other hit was 'Rose-Coloured Glasses'. Greg and Jim take turns throughout the album on lead vocals, which gives their albums variety, as each have a different style of singing. If you don't know this group yet, what are you waiting for?"
Best Kept Secret In Canada
Ron Machida | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 11/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Outskirts was Blue Rodeo's first release (1987) and I fell in love with it. It's been over ten years since I bought "Outskirts" and my feelings for it having changed a bit since. Back then I had only heard the song "Try" but upon listening to the entire CD, I was shocked by it's greatness. From the very first cut "Heart Like Mine" with it's slow a cappella beginning; building to a crescendo with the words "I just want to find...a heart like mine, accompanied by Bobby Wiseman's outstanding syntheseizer, this album soars. Greg Keelor's low gravelly voice hamonizes well with Jim Cuddy's silky tenor voice. Greg takes the lead on the moderate tempo Rose Coloured Glasses, Upskirts and the uptempo Joker is Wild. Jim whose voice I absolutely love does a beautiful rendition of the ballad Try and Rebel as well as Underground. For a first album this one is shockingly good . I highly recommend it and the newer releases as well. Bare Naked Ladies get international acclaim but the best kept secret here in Canada is my favourite band Blue Rodeo."
Ron Machida | 09/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't understand what everyone above is talking about! Outskirts, Blue Rodeo's debut album is just incredible. Right from the get go, Jim and Greg display how well their voices blend on Heart Like Mine, and Rose Coloured Glasses pushes the album to even greater heights. The rest of the CD keeps the momentum and sometimes even surpasses it. Songs like Joker's Wild, Five Will Get You Six and Floating are great experiments in improv blues, Bobby Wiseman's piano parts really stick out here. But above all, this is an ALBUM, not ten singles stuck together like so many others groups do today. If you listen to it in its entirety, you'll come to understand what this album is all about and the rest of the songs will definately grow on you. Buy it for Try and Rose Coloured Glasses, and you'll be sucked in by the rest of the songs when they take their hold of you and never let go!"