In my younger and more vulnerable years...three records that had a lasting impact on Devin Cuddy

>> Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Welcome to a regular feature on Painting over Silence in which musicians share records that had a lasting impact on themselves and discuss what it is about these albums that were - or continue to be - so important toward their own musical development.

In this edition of In My Younger...burgeoning blues-country maker Devin Cuddy (son of Blue Rodeo's Jim) shares three records (all live) with us that had an indelible impact on his formative music years.

Touring the country in support of his buzzed-about debut release, Volume One, Cuddy will be at the West End Cultural Centre on Tuesday, March 12th alongside tour and label-mate Whitney Rose. (Remember, you can win tickets to see the show through us...see here!)


Oscar Peterson - Oscar Peterson at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival

This was my favourite record by my favourite piano player of all time. Every note, whether quarter, eighth, sixteenth or thirty-second, is perfectly in the pocket. His rhythm is unmatched, and on this particular album, he's swinging with no drums. Something I have always admired about Oscar is how well spoken he is, like he was a CBC personality. I was unfortunately too young to attend his workshops at York, but I did see him play Massey Hall when I was 13. People told me that he'd slowed down from his stroke, something I did not notice at all. He flew like always and I sat there knowing that I wanted to play that instrument. My favourite track is “How About You?”

Randy Newman - Randy Newman Live
This record is pure gold. Great piano playing and great songs. Newman's ironic style of songwriting has been very influential on me, his lyrics are very well crafted and witty and his piano playing is excellent. One of the things I admire about his playing is how busy he can play under his singing. Although I love Newman's studio records quite a bit as well, this record seems to convey his personality well as you hear him make jokes and interact with the crowd, he even takes a request. I saw him play a few years ago and some of his jokes and banter were the same as on this record, which was quite a thrill. It's a collection of some of his finest work with such favourites as “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” “Yellow Man,” “Davy the Fat Boy,” and “Maybe I'm Doing it Wrong.”

Tom Waits - Nighthawks at the Diner
I discovered this record after listening to Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones, and Mule Variations, so I wasn't familiar with this style of Waits. My girlfriend had recently given me a cd of Jack Kerouac reciting excerpts from his works, with Steve Allen providing some nice background piano. I was just scratching the surface of the beatnik genre when I first heard this record. I loved it. The Waits' imagery is amazing, taking you right to the places and people that he's talking about, feeling their pain, angst, sadness and even intoxication. The band is hot, and the audience is digging it. Although I enjoy a lot of later Waits recordings, this one seemed to stand out the most in terms of influence on my own attempts at songwriting.  I even have a copy of the Edward Hopper painting "Nighthawks" that inspired the name and cover of the record. Favourite tracks include “Emotional Weather Report” and my most favourite “Warm Beer, Cold Women,” a beautiful description of a wandering lonely drunk.


Anonymous,  12 March 2013 at 17:20  

Jim Cuddy's son... That's all you'll ever be if every article about you mentions your dad. Stop using connections and try making it on your own. It will feel better that way.

Music is all about marketing these days. So sad.

Anonymous,  19 March 2013 at 15:04  

Actually, one of the many reasons marketing plays a role in music these days is because so many people pirate music. Record companies could not sustain paying artists when cds were not selling. The pickings became slimmer, record companies were only selling 'marketable' artists. The only way artists today make money is through a percent of legit sales (a very small number) and a percent of what they take from shows. So i ask you, whats the answer? Should all artists give up because people like you see artists that market themselves as sell outs, thereby cheapening the entire package? Remember that alot of these artists are showing up to the party at a time that requires him/her to market themselves? Go listen to your obscure folk records or get with the times. Also, Devin does not write these articles. The fact that his dad is mentioned in articles is not his doing, it is the writer's. People are interested in hearing about that. He has never used that as an edge, in fact, he shys away from the subject (because of people like you). He has never used his 'connections' as a way to leverage his career. It is circumstancial. Listen to the record, and post about that. Nobody wants to hear shitty jealous comment.

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