Cris Cuddy is a singer and songwriter who started out in the folkie era, recording two LP’s as Jeremy Dormouse with some talented friends including David “Fiddlin’ Zeke” Mazurek, before becoming leader of popular Canadian indie rootsrock-reggae band Max Mouse and the Gorillas, whose ranks have included such brilliant musicians as Dennis Delorme (Prairie Oyster), Roly Platt (Ronnie Hawkins), Hugh MacMillan (Spirit of the West) and Tony Quarrington (Joe Hall and the Continental Drift).
Cris has recorded many solo CD’s and his song “Gone Again” is featured on the Grammy nominated CD by Claire Lynch “North by South”. His songs have also been recorded by several other artists including Canada’s perennial Juno Award Winners Prairie Oyster and International Bluegrass Music Award (IBMA) winning bluegrass artists Jim Hurst and the Spinney Bros.
Cuddy’s mentor, songwriting great Mickey Newbury (writer of “American Trilogy” by Elvis) chose his tale of Old Blue Eyes “What if Frankie Doesn’t
Like It” for inclusion as a segue on his masterful “Long Road Home”. His songs often mirror various regions of his cross-country travels, for example “Paramount Cafe” remembering a much-loved Lethbridge eatery, “Keep the Change” describing the late night joints frequented by travellers of all stripes, “Way out West” reprising his love of the Big Sky country, “The Night the Lights Went Out” in memory of legendary St. John’s singer Ron Hynes, “Song Upon a Winter Day” for the great Willie P. Bennett, “Na-Na-Nanaimo” about being on the skids on those streets and, outside his Canadian roots, a song of longing for “Dear Elvis”, “What if Frankie Doesn’t Like It”, and “Natalie Wood 1963” in praise of the star-crossed beauty as well as many others.
His solo recordings have featured such great musicians as guitarist Albert Lee, Gene Taylor (Fabulous Thunderbirds) on piano and Kevin Breit (Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones), multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Tom Russell), Andrew Hardin (Tom Russell), Memphis George Bradfute (Paul Burch, Phil Lee, Webb Wilder, Jason Ringenburg) and members of Mary Margaret O’Hara and Big Sugar.
Check out Cris talking about and playing Long and Lonesome Old Freight Train, a song that has been recorded by Prairie Oyster, Catfish Willie and IBMA guitar star Jim Hurst: