It doesn't quite have the size or mystique of Bob Dylan's legendary Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975-76, but Blue Rodeo & Friends is the Canadian band's approximation of the same kind of music spectacle.
Throughout the tour, which begins Sunday at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, Blue Rodeo will play with its guests -- fellow Torontonians Ron Sexsmith, Luke Doucet and Oh Susannah. "We've played with all these people at one time or another," notes the group's Jim Cuddy. "Either they opened for us and we had them on stage or we'd do charity events and everyone plays together."
Like Rolling Thunder, Cuddy says Blue Rodeo & Friends will "permutate into different bands. People will come up and so songs and we'll be the backup band, or they'll sing on our songs. There'll be an extra piano up on stage. We'll just try to get everybody to learn everybody else's songs and play as much as possible."
Blue Rodeo will also be promoting its latest album, "Small Miracles," which is due out Oct. 30. Cuddy, 51, describes it as "our songs, but with a little bit more of a pop aesthetic. We really tried to sit down and work out the arrangements this time. We tore the songs apart, and we don't usually do that. It was a bit of an experiment to see how far we've come."
Blue Rodeo & Friends, featuring Ron Sexsmith, Luke Doucet and Oh Susannah, perform Sunday (Oct. 21) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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