Blue Rodeo frontman headlining The Gathering

Rudy Norman
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Canadian icon to join sons and other acts onstage in Burlington Aug. 23-25

Jim Cuddy, frontman of Blue Rodeo and a multi-Juno award winner, will join his sons Devin and Sam in Burlington to form. The Jim Cuddy Family Band for a performance at The Gathering Aug. 23-25. — Submitted photos

It has the potential to be one of the biggest concerts the region has seen in years. The Gathering — Fire, Food, Music was host last year to provincially and nationally known acts such as Sean McCann of Great Big Sea and CBC Music Searchlight winners Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case, but this year, they’ve upped the ante and are bringing in one of the biggest names in Canadian music.

Jim Cuddy, the frontman of the iconic band, Blue Rodeo, will make a stop in Burlington on Aug. 23-25 to be part of the second annual Gathering festival, featuring Shaun Majumder and his friends who are seeking to continue their work with social enterprise in that community.

Cuddy, a multi-Juno award winner and a solo artist in his own rite, will be gracing the stage with his two sons, Devin and Sam, and together will make up the Jim Cuddy Family Band for a rare performance by the trio.

“They don’t do this very often, so we’re really grateful that they’ve agreed to come here to Burlington and join us for The Gathering,” said Majumder.

He says the connection was made thanks to his friendship with Cuddy.

“I’ve gotten to know Jim and his people over the years, and when we were thinking about people who could come to The Gathering this year, he was at the top of the list,” explained Majumder. He says the heart behind The Gathering, which is a back-to-the-elements, roughing it style festival that’s meant to celebrate culture and the elements, is the perfect fit for the artist and his family.

“Jim is the perfect fit for what we’re trying to do with The Gathering. I hear he’s even bringing his mom,” he says with a grin.

Jim’s son, Devin, is also an up-and-coming musical force in the scene, with his band The Devin Cuddy Band.

Devin will also be hitting the stage for his own performance at the festival before he joins his father and brother to form the family enclave.

“Devin has an incredible sound of his own, and I think people are really going to enjoy his music,” Majumder says. “It’s the best of all worlds by having them here.”

While the Cuddy family will likely be a huge drawing card, they aren’t the only musical acts that will perform in Burlington this August.

Hometown rock star Rex Goudie will also be onstage during the weekend. As well, Carmen Townsend, a singer/songwriter from Cape Breton who in the past has toured with Heart, and is making a name for herself in Atlantic Canada.

Brian Byrne, a Steady Brook native and former member of I Mother Earth will also be in attendance.

On a more local level, Adam Baxter, who is currently living in Springdale and has made a name for himself across the province, will belt out some tunes, as well as Corner Brook native Mena Lodge and local country musician Nolan Newbury.

In addition to the musical talent at the festival, The Gathering also celebrates the culinary arts of Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing together some of the best chefs the province has to offer. Lead by Roary MacPherson, executive chef at the Sheraton Hotel

St John’s, the team includes Mark McCrowe, Roger Andrews, Jillian Lake, Angie Ryan and Adam Blanchard.

“We’re so lucky that such amazing people have agreed to be a part of this weekend, and everyone who attends is in for a real treat based on the lineup we’ve put together so far,” said Majumder. However, he was sure to point out that surprises are still possible, and likely, when it comes to who may show up in Burlington this summer.

“We’re always talking to folks who are eager to come, and working on getting here, so who knows who will show up unannounced and all of a sudden? It could be anyone – but you have to be here to find out,” he said.

Tickets for The Gathering are available online at www.thegatheringburlington.com.

The Nor’Wester

Organizations: The Gathering, Great Big Sea, Jim Cuddy Family Band

Geographic location: Burlington, Cape Breton, Steady Brook Springdale Corner Brook Newfoundland and Labrador

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