Canadian Music Corner: Cuff the Duke & The Devin Cuddy Band

Cuff the Duke
Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Cuff the Duke is the exact reason a column like Canadian Music Corner exists. The group has been around 12 years. That’s four years longer than Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson.

Cuff the Dukes produces a high quality of music that is creative, interesting, fun and easy to listen to. It’s not complex jazz that few can understand; it’s a home-style indie-country blend. It’s easy on the ears but offers more than generic rock. Blue Rodeo can claim some influence, but not ownership of the sound, as there’s more of the indie-rock style in this Oshawa, Ont. quartet’s sound.

Cuff the Duke has never made it huge. Keeping on with a sturdy, well-earned fan base, playing shows and festivals across the country. In fact, last year the band was in nearby Salmon Arm for the Roots and Blues Festival. It’s one of many shows played across the country. Cuff the Duke has also been featured on Hockey Night In Canada.

For a warm welcome to Cuff the Duke’s sound, try “The Ballad of Poor John Henry,” a cut from the 2005 self-titled release.

The Devin Cuddy Band
Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

If timeless has come to describe music out of place among contemporary radio sensations, then Devin Cuddy’s music is timeless. Under the subtle moniker The Devin Cuddy Project, Cuddy released Volume One last September.

The record’s title and band’s name is quaintly simplistic, adhering to the theme of Cuddy’s music. Piano driven, synth and ambient sounds negligent, Cuddy’s album is all soul.  It’s a slow down, but a welcome change of pace taking listeners back to the early-to-middle sections of the 20th century.  There’s swing, there’s blues and there certainly is a New Orleans flavour. Rounding out the album on “Walking,” Cuddy punctuates his sound with a riff straight from Jimmy Reed’s days.

If you find yourself in Toronto one evening this summer, you might find yourself lucky enough to hear Cuddy’s music spilling out of The Cameron House into the warm evening air transforming the street with the nostalgic sounds of an era long gone. While a setting for some of Toronto’s finest live acts, The Cameron House further enables local musicians with its label fittingly entitled Cameron House Records. Cuddy finds his musical home on this label.

At a time where vintage clothing and vinyl are all the rage, Cuddy’s music is a stamp on the idea that the old romance is not lost today.

Check out “I Got a Girl” as a starting point.

No Responses