Hailing from Oshawa, ON, but based in Toronto, Cuff the Duke entered the music scene in 2002 with their debut release Life Stories for Minimum Wage. Their musical stylings have been characterized as a blend of traditional country and folk music with indie rock roots. After touring with Hayden in 2002, the boys changed their band line-up and sat down to record their self-titled sophomore album in 2005. The album was recorded and mixed at Blue Rodeo’s Woodshed Studio in Toronto, which was the start of a musical relationship between the two bands.
Cuff the Duke’s second album was hailed by critics as intense and timeless with a musical maturity of artists beyond their years. This positive feedback from critics helped to build up their tremendous popularity, especially on the college circuit.
Their third studio album, Sidelines of the City, was released in 2007 and is acknowledged as their most confident album to date, full of gritty, raw alternative country tracks. Cuff the Duke are also praised for their unique instrument selection, using a wide range from Moog synths, wind organs and bells, to Hammond organs and lap steel. Since 2007, the band has released three new albums and toured extensively, including as the opening act for Blue Rodeo’s 2008 tour.
Sources: AllMusic.com, Wikipedia
"Saturday - and all of the Hillside Festival, for my money, was stolen by Cuff the Duke" - Ben Rayner, Toronto Star