Music

The Devin Cuddy Band: Kitchen Knife

On Kitchen Knife, you’ll hear everything from old-fashioned honky tonk sounds to more piano-based jazz and even some blues.


The Devin Cuddy Band

Kitchen Knife

Label: Cameron House
Canada Release Date: 2014-07-29
US Release Date: Import
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

Canada’s Devin Cuddy is a unique talent. Not only is he the son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, he sort of mines the country traditions of his father’s famous band while putting his own spin on things. On his sophomore disc, Kitchen Knife, you’ll hear everything from old fashioned honky tonk sounds to more piano-based jazz and even some blues. While the album is a collage of styles that don’t hang together as well as they should, Kitchen Knife is a showcase of young, promising talent. Devin was born the same week that his father’s band started recording their iconic 1987 release Outskirts. And there’s a intriguing thread of violence that runs throughout the record. Opener and title track is a paean to spousal assault: “And if he hits you, baby / Start swingin’ all around / And if he pushes you down / Well, get up off of the ground / And if he takes all your money / Grab hold of that kitchen knife.” And then the second song “Forty Four” is, of course, in reference to a certain caliber of gun.

Kitchen Knife is astoundingly mature for someone of Devin Cuddy’s age. Merging such diverse styles as cosmopolitan country with gospel-infused sounds, Kitchen Knife is, in many ways, the kind of record that doesn’t get made much anymore. It’s telling that Devin Cuddy’s last album, Vol. 1, was nominated for a Juno Award (which is Canada’s version of the Grammies) for Roots / Traditional Album of the Year. And while Devin Cuddy appears to be a guy who has paid his own dues, he’s very family rooted. Kitchen Knife was produced by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor, and Devin Cuddy has been known to perform with that group on stage. It’s remarkable to hear a young offspring mining some of the same bluesy country traditions as his father, while retaining his own distinctive voice. Unless you knew the family history of Jim Cuddy, you might not have known that Devin Cuddy existed. Kitchen Knife, for all of its strengths, should change all of that.

7

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image