Deep Roots Q & A: Jim Cuddy
Jim Cuddy has been a fixture in the Canadian music scene for over 35 years. Along with the Jim Cuddy Band, he brings his memorable songwriting to Acadia’s Convocation Hall on Thursday September 27.
The Grapevine: What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
Jim Cuddy: My earliest childhood ambition was to either be a doctor or a cowboy like Roy Rogers.
GV: What is your favourite song and when did you first hear it?
JC: I think that my favourite song is “The Long & Winding Road,” which I heard when I moved to Toronto. It coincided with a big awakening in my life. I was in high school and there were a lot of things going on and things were deepening for the first time in my life. I was becoming a young adult and not a kid anymore. And it is still a very emotional song for me to hear.
GV: How did you get started in the music industry?
JC: I got started in 1978 when Greg and I started the Hi-Fi’s. We had a single in our first year so that would be the beginning.
GV: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a musician?
JC: I would be a lawyer. I applied to law school and deferred my acceptance at Queen’s for 3 years until they finally said why don’t you call us if you want to attend.
GV: Are there any recent inspirations for your music?
JC: I’m always inspired by new music. Rayland Baxter would be the latest inspiration and I’m always inspired by voices and they can be old or new. When I heard Rose Cousins this summer I was inspired by that. When I hear Andy Maize sing beside me I’m inspired by that.
GV: What do you do to prepare for the stage? Are you nervous or comfortable? Has that changed over time?
JC: For the last 25 years I’ve pretty much done the same thing. I eat well in advance of the gig and just stay quiet. I’m not nervous, but I’m not conversational. It’s not fun to hang around me or my band mates. We just sit, casually chit chat, and get ourselves ready. I can’t concentrate on other conversations. I just get into the zone.
GV: Have you ever been to the Annapolis Valley before? Is there anything in particular you are excited about seeing or visiting here?
JC: The first time we came to play was at Acadia University in the winter. I was stunned at how beautiful it was. I’ve been back to the Valley in all weather and it’s just a gorgeous place.
Jim Cuddy performs at the Deep Roots Festival Kick-Off Concert, along with William Prince, on Thursday September 27 at 7:30pm at Acadia University’s Convocation Hall.