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Cuff the Duke

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It is no wonder that Canada's Cuff the Duke opened for Blue Rodeo on a key tour, or that Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor is producing their fourth album. Like Keelor and his own bandmates, Cuff the Duke are one of those unbelievably talented bands that can jump genres like a game of hopscotch -- to the point where their music is almost undefinable except for the good ol' catchall, "alternative." Also like Blue Rodeo, they have a definite Canadian roots rock basis and a taste for the epic in their song structures. Cuff the Duke broke onto the scene in 2002 with their debut, Life Stories for Minimum Wage, released on Toronto indie Three Gut Records. Critics praised the album, especially noting its maturity, which was ironic, as no one in the band (all originally from Oshawa, Ontario) was over 21 years of age. The group made their major-label debut in 2005 with the self-titled, Cuff the Duke. The album was the first release on fellow Canadian, Hayden's Hardwood/Universal imprint that didn't feature Hayden, himself. Cuff the Duke built up a tremendous cult following, especially on the college circuit, with this dark epic of an album. Critics hailed the intensity and timelessness of the songs, rightly identifying Cuff the Duke as a band working way beyond their years. Their live shows became a popular favorite and the Toronto Star raved that they "stole" the acclaimed Hillside Music Festival. Early in 2006, Halifax's Dale Murray joined Cuff the Duke to play electric and pedal steel guitar (replacing original guitarist/Moog player/organist Jeff Peers) -- followed shortly thereafter by then Montreal-based drummer Corey Wood (taking the place of Matt Faris). With founding members Wayne Petti (lead vocals, guitar and moog) and Paul Lowman (bass, piano, fiddle, vocals), the band embarked on additional and extensive North American touring. Somewhere amidst all of that and several van breakdowns, Cuff the Duke managed to be part of an exciting, primarily instrumental band called the Hylozoists, led by producer/musician Paul Aucoin (co-producer of the early Cuff the Duke albums), whose La Fin Du Monde came out in the spring of 2006 on Boompa/EMI. 2007 saw the re-release of Cuff the Duke's 2002 debut, Life Stories for Minimum Wage, and frontman Wayne Petti's solo debut, City Lights Align, while the band entered the studio to begin recording their new album for Hardwood at the end of February. Released in October, Sidelines of the City was even more epic and ambitious than either of their previous releases. Alternating sounding like they are playing in front of stadiums to gigging at intimate club shows, the songs on Sidelines of the City are as shocking for their sprawling scope as they are for the number of genres they skip lithely across. Way Down Here arrived in 2009, followed by 2011's Morning Comes, the latter of which landed a Juno nomination. An EP of covers songs, In Our Time, appeared in early 2012, followed later that fall by the full-length Union. ~ Tomas Mureika
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Stations Featuring
Cuff the Duke


Albums by
Cuff the Duke

Top Songs by
Cuff the Duke

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Bound to Your Own Vices
  3.   When All Else Fails & Fades
  4.   You Don't Know What It's Like
  5.   Long Road
  6.   Live My Life
  7.   It's Over
  8.   Night After Night
  9.   Long Winter
  10.   Another Day in Purgatory
  11.   No Sleep, No Heat
  12.   The Difference Between Us
  13.   Hobo Night Stalker
  14.   Ballad of a Lonely Construction Worker
  15.   Letting Go
  16.   Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
  17.   Where Did We Go Wrong
  18.   Burger
  19.   There Was a Time
  20.   Stay
  21.   You Won't Look Back
  22.   Drag Me Down
  23.   Remember the Good Times
  24.   Surging Revival
  25.   So Many Times Before
  26.   Words (Between the Lines of Age)
  27.   Promises
  28.   Open Your Mind
  29.   The Words You Ignore
  30.   All I Want
  31.   Count on Me
  32.   The Trouble and the Truth
  33.   Blackheart
  34.   Meet You on the Other Side
  35.   I Really Want to Help You
  36.   Rocking Chair
  37.   If I Live or If I Die
  38.   Need You
  39.   Something for Free
  40.   This City Will Eat You
  41.   Take My Money and Run
  42.   Failure to Some
  43.   A Long Night My Love
  44.   Belgium or Peru
  45.   Time Is Right
  46.   Lonely Path Of Mine
  47.   By Winter's End
  48.   Rossland Square
  49.   The Future Hangs
  50.   Standing on the Edge
  51.   The Ballad of Poor John Henry
  52.   Lonely Path
  53.   Hey Baby
  54.   Listen to Your Heart
  55.   It's All a Blur
  56.   Side By Side
  57.   Carry On
  58.   The Ballad of the Tired Old Man
  59.   Rise Above
  60.   You Were Right
  61.   Anti-Social
  62.   Brightest Part of the Sun
  63.   Confessions from a Parkdale Basement
  64.   Follow Me
  65.   Like the Morning
  66.   [Untitled]
  67.   Farley the Dog
  68.   I Guess This Is Life
  69.   Where Did We All Go Wrong

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