Neil Young's controversial efforts to aid a northern Alberta aboriginal band in their fight to preserve their land from oilsands development have received unexpected support from Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy.
According to a statement posted Jan. 17 at BlueRodeo.com, the veteran Canuck alt-country rocker asserts that he stands behind the "Heart of Gold" hitmaker in his current "Honor the Treaties" benefit Canadian concert series, organized to raise awareness and funds in support of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defence (ACFN) as they take on big oil.
Cuddy had stated in an interview with Dale Roth of Missinipi Broadcasting Corp, a First Nations radio outlet based in Saskatchewan, that Young had been "grossly exaggerating" in his comparison of the oilsands to Hiroshima, calling the two-time Grammy winner's description "extreme and crazy."
In his new statement, the multi-Juno winning singer points out his comments were taken out of context by other media using the interview as a source, saying, "I was asked about the town of Fort McMurray, not the oilsands. My comments regarding the exaggeration of the conditions there were about Fort McMurray. The oilsands are as visually grotesque as described."
Cuddy makes clear his support for his fellow Canadian artist saying," I believe that Neil Young is brave and articulate and very well informed about the oil sands" and adds, "Canada is at a crossroads between economics and the environment and we need to make a very, very brave choice. How much revenue are we willing to sacrifice to ensure that we have clean water, clean air and good health for the people and the planet?"
Young will receive a star-studded tribute from the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing during 2014 Grammy week, which will take place on Jan. 21 at the Village Studios in Los Angeles and will perform his final Canadian tour stop on Jan. 19 in Calgary, AB at Jack Singer Concert Hall.
Blue Rodeo will continue their current cross-Canada tour in support of their latest studio release "In Our Nature" on Jan. 20 in Saskatoon, SK at TCU Place.
Did you know? Neil Young and Blue Rodeo have both been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame