THIS LITTLE WORLD by CRIS CUDDY
“This Little World” is the new cd by Cris Cuddy, another solo effort after several with both early folkies “Jeremy Dormouse” and roots rockers “Max Mouse and the Gorillas”.
Produced by Steve Briggs, leader of the BeBop Cowboys, it features Dennis Pendrith (Vinyl Café) on bass, Al Cross (Big Sugar) drums and percussion and guests Rusty McCarthy (Mary Margaret O’Hara) on nylon string guitar and George Meanwell (Quartetto Gelato) on cello.
After projects in Nashville with George Bradfute (Paul Burch, Webb Wilder), Brian Ahern (Emmylou Harris) and Andrew Hardin (Tom Russell), the current recording again reflects Cuddy’s “as usual the unusual” mixed bag of styles.
Included are the title song, a reflection on a world of beauty in constant turmoil, the whimsical acoustic rocker “Natalie Wood 1963”, the melancholy “Song Upon a Winter’s Day” in tribute to the late Willie P. Bennett and Lynda Lapeer, an appreciation of energetic new music in “Rock’N’Roll Kids”, a wistful conversation with the late, great songwriter and singer Mickey Newbury and a midnight appeal to the King of the Lonely Hearts “Dear Elvis”.
As with the previous recording “Heartbeat” Cuddy’s ace harmonica pal Roly Platt has used his graphic artist skills to produce another stunning cover from a Rusty McCarthy painting.
All in all an intriguing collection of moody songs recorded live over two days with a sterling ensemble and tweaked lightly by Steve.
European review by Rootsville :
British review :
Cris Cuddy - This Little World (Vanishing Castle/Independent)
I’m new to the world of Cris Cuddy but I’ll be checking him out more closely after hearing This Little World. The twelve songs here offer a wide palette of styles, all hitting the mark. A special word for producer, guitarist Steve Briggs, his talents really make the songs shine through. Cuddy has a warm voice and a gift for a hook laden song. ‘Natalie Wood 1963’ is a classic pop song with a great guitar hook; a wistful look at desire through the eyes of a young boy. ‘I want to know what it’s like kiss Natalie goodnight!’ Tom Petty or Chris Isaak would kill for a song like this. The varied song-writing styles include, elsewhere, a breezy reggae take on ‘This One’s Gonna Hurt’, and a tongue in cheek ‘Dear Elvis’. The closing ‘Hey Mickey’, is a tribute to the late Mickey Newbury. Cuddy can also be tender, as he displays on the beautiful acoustic ballad ‘Take Me In Your Arms Tonight’. Mr Cuddy and his helpers have delivered a good-time, swinging collection that deserves the attention of a larger audience. It’s a terrific record! 8/10
More information about the artist and other projects is available at
Cris Cuddy’s first recording was with folk group “Jeremy Dormouse” (www.jeremydormouse.com) (considered by Ian Tamblyn to be the first independent Canadian folk record and now re-released in cd and vinyl formats). He later became the leader of popular Canadian indie roots-rockers Max Mouse and the Gorillas (www.maxmouse.net), whose ranks have included such stellar musicians as Dennis Delorme (Prairie Oyster), Tony Quarrington (Joe Hall and the Continental Drift) and Hugh MacMillan (Spirit of the West) and who still perform regularly in dance/concert venues.
His first solo project was “Come Along Carmelita” (“I don't know where it came from. I only know it's so good I don't care” : David Pilot, Rockzilla ), which features multi-instrumentalists Fats Kaplin (Tom Russell Band, Kevin Welch/Keiran Kane), Don Rooke (the Henry’s, Mary Margaret O’Hara) and George Meanwell (Quartetto Gelato).
His newly re-mastered project, the double CD “Keep the Change / Nowhere Town”, “This double album is the kind of wonderful sprawl Ryan Adams might have made if…(Americana UK)” was produced by Tom Russell’s guitarist sidekick Andrew Hardin and Nashville’s George Bradfute (Paul Burch, Richard Bennett), and also features Fats Kaplin, legendary guitarist Albert Lee, and the great Gene Taylor (Fabulous Thunderbirds) on piano along with Keith Glass and Joan Besen (Prairie Oyster) and Kevin Breit (Norah Jones).