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Blackie and the Rodeo Kings on Wikipedia
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
Background information
OriginHamilton, Ontario, Canada
GenresFolk rock, alternative country
Years active1996 (1996)–present
LabelsTrue North, MCA Canada
MembersStephen Fearing
Colin Linden
Tom Wilson
Past membersJohn Dymond
Gary Craig
Richard Bell

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are a Canadian folk rock–alternative country band with blues and country influences. The band was formed in 1996, in Hamilton, Ontario, by Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing, and Colin Linden.[1]


  • 1 Career
    • 1.1 Early Period: 1990s
    • 1.2 2000s
  • 2 Members
  • 3 Alternative members
  • 4 Discography
    • 4.1 Albums
    • 4.2 Singles
  • 5 Blackie and the Rodeo Kings music also found on
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early Period: 1990s

Tom Wilson (former lead singer of Junkhouse and Tom Wilson & the Florida Razors), solo artist Stephen Fearing, and guitarist and producer Colin Linden started Blackie and the Rodeo Kings as a tribute to one of their favorite Canadian folk artists, singer-songwriter Willie P. Bennett. Their name was taken from Bennett's 1978 album Blackie and the Rodeo King.[1] What started as a side project soon turned into a full-fledged band after their first album, High or Hurtin': The Songs of Willie P. Bennett, was a critical success and popular with fans of both Bennett and each individual artist.[2] Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have numerous full-length studio albums and many awards and nominations under their belt. In 1999, the band recorded Kings of Love,[1] which received a Juno Award for Best Roots & Traditional Album – Group in 2000.[3]

The band originally played shows at such venues as the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec.[citation needed]


In 2003, the band recorded Bark. Kings of Love and Bark still had cover versions of Bennett's songs, but they also included some original material by the band members and cover versions of songs by Bruce Cockburn, Fred Eaglesmith and David Wiffen. In 2005, the band was included in a list published by The New York Times of songs found on President George W. Bush's iPod.[4] In 2006, the band recorded Let's Frolic!,[1] consisting of all-original material.

In 2008, the band were the winners of the 7th annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop vote for best band venue poster. It was designed by Michael Wrycraft.[5]

In 2009, the compilation album Swinging from the Chains of Love was released, which included the previously unreleased "Caves of Jericho" and a cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues".[2]

In their 2011 album Kings and Queens the band teamed up with noted female singers such as Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, Cassandra Wilson, Serena Ryder and Patti Scialfa. Each of the 14 tracks featured a duet with one of the singers.[1][6]


Tom Wilson: Former lead singer of the 1990s rock group Junkhouse,[1] and now working with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings as well as the Lee Harvey Osmond project. He has been playing since the 1980s, first with the Florida Razors, in 1986 for "Beat Music" his first full-length album. He collaborated with Bob Lanois in 1995 on "The Shack Recording, Vol.1" and has worked with other musicians such as Garry Tallent and David Roe. Solo albums include Planet Love (2001) and Dog Years (2006).[7]

Stephen Fearing: Solo artist Stephen Fearing has been in the music business for over 20 years. Born in Vancouver,[1] he spent most of this childhood in Dublin, Ireland. He has worked with such producers as Clive Gregson (for his album Blue Line, 1989), and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos (for The Assassin's Apprentice from 1994, which also featured fellow Canadian Sarah McLachlan). Fearing has recorded eight solo albums and has won many awards for his efforts, including a West Coast Music Award for best folk music recording as well as five Juno nominations.[8]

Colin Linden: Guitarist and producer for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. As a solo artist, he has worked with musicians such as Colin James, Leon Redbone, Robert Plant and Band.[1] Like his bandmates in Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Linden has also worked with Bruce Cockburn.[9] He has also worked as an actor, making his debut in the Coen brothers' film Intolerable Cruelty as "Father Scott".[10] Linden has won numerous Junos, four East Coast Music Awards and other accolades for his achievements.[11]

Alternative members

John Dymond: Bassist for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and other well-known Canadian artists, such as Amanda Wilkinson, the Wilkinsons, k.d. lang and Bruce Cockburn.[12]

Gary Craig: Drummer and percussionist for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. He has performed with a significant number of Canadian musicians, from Anne Murray to Terri Clark.[13]

Richard Bell (March 5, 1946, Toronto – June 15, 2007, Toronto): Pianist for Janis Joplin and The Band. He was the keyboardist for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings for a number of years before his death.[14]

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings music also found on

  • Borrowed Tunes II: A Tribute to Neil Young – "Unknown Legend" cover. All proceeds from this album go to Safe Haven and the Bridge School.
  • Weirdsville Soundtrack – Features their song "Stoned", from the album "Bark" (2003).
  • Johnny's Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash (NorthernBlues Music, 2003) – Contains a cover of "Folsom Prison Blues".
  • Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot – Contains a cover of "Summer Side of Love".


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Deming, Mark. "Blackie & the Rodeo Kings". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Oliver, Nic. "Blackie And The Rodeo Kings – Swinging From The Chains Of Love". musicOMH. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Best Roots & Traditional Album: Group 2000". 2000. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bush's Playlist". Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Design Nominees : 7th Annual Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Wheeler, Brad (3 July 2011). "Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - and Queens". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Tom Wilson (6)". Discogs. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Stephen Fearing". True North Records. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Wright, Michelle (2005). A Year in the Life: The Journals of Michelle Wright. Insomniac Press. p. 57. ISBN 1-897414-58-7. 
  11. ^ "Colin Linden 2006 – Easin' Back To Tennessee biography". Dragutin Matosevic. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "John Dymond". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "Gary Craig". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Wenn (20 June 2007). "Richard Bell Dies". Ltd. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 

External links

  • website
  • Blackie and the Rodeo Kings at AllMusic
  • Blackie and the Rodeo Kings discography at Discogs

Upcoming Live Shows

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Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has 5 upcoming shows:

West Midlands Showground (Shrewsbury, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
West Midlands Showground (Shrewsbury, United Kingdom)
City of Fredericton (Fredericton, Canada)
Festival Place (Sherwood Park, Canada)Buy Tickets
Bragg Creek Performing Arts (Rocky View County, Canada)

Further Reading

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