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Not their first rodeo 

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There are all sorts of reasons you could find yourself tearing up during Blue Rodeo's set on Saturday at the MeadowGrass festival: A lyric hits closer to home than expected, a connection is felt between artist and audience, a melody is so perfect that you're hoping the song will never end.

It's happened before. Not that you'd know it on this side of the border, but Blue Rodeo is positively revered in their native Canada. They've sold more albums and won more prestigious awards than all of this year's other MeadowGrass acts combined.

Nearly three decades into the band's career, it's still hard to figure out why Blue Rodeo never quite managed to crack the States — not that they ever needed to. Blame the capricious nature of the music industry, or the herd mentality of the mainstream press, or, as co-founder Greg Keelor puts it in this week's cover story (starting here), the luck of the draw.

What does matter is that Blue Rodeo are unlikely to be back this way anytime soon. One of the main reasons they've decided to bring the whole seven-piece band down here in the first place, according to their booking agent, is that it just sounded like fun.

Blue Rodeo's two other American dates this summer will both be stripped-down acoustic shows in California, one at the legendary McCabe's Guitar Shop, the other at a longtime friend's wedding. People will be tearing up there, too.

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