Devin Cuddy goes way back on his 2014 album Kitchen Knife. The ragtimey title track leads off the album, and yanks you into the early 19th century. It’s great to hear this saloon-style music recorded with modern techniques, but still maintaining a loose, relaxed feel. Devin Cuddy is the son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, but it’s pretty clear that he’s standing on his own two feet. Cuddy and Greg Keelor (also from Blue Rodeo) did a lovely job producing the album. I especially like the way Cuddy’s voice was mic’d. His guitar players really let loose on their interpretation of Robert Petway’s influential “Catfish Blues.” “Catfish Blues,” like most of the later tracks in the album, seems to time travel closer to the 40s and 50s, with a slight update in sound compared to the ancient rags earlier.

– Jacob Romu