Talk about underappreciated. Ten years after this Canadian band began setting the stage for the great country-rock renaissance of the '90s (think Jayhawks, Wilco, Son Volt), Blue Rodeo is still banda non grata in the United States. Which becomes all the more mystifying after hearing Tremolo, an easygoing album that reveals the bonds linking 19th-century twang to premillennial grunge.
Drawing on a jukebox of influences, Tremolo's standouts range from the achingly beautiful waltz "Falling Down Blue" to the raucous "No Miracle, No Dazzle" and the straight-up country romp "I Could Never Be That Man." Like the Band—which was led by fellow Canadian Robbie Robertson—Blue Rodeo not only has a clear sense of America's musical past but also a unique vision for its future. (Sire)