Influenced by the likes of Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt and Pete Seegar, these artists are now among some of Ron’s biggest champions.
Born in St. Catharines, ON, Ron is a well-known singer-songwriter who formed his first band at 14, and within a few years, earned his first regular gig at a local club. It was at this gig that Ron met and befriended former Blue Rodeo member Bob Wiseman. With the help of Bob, Ron released Grand Opera Lane in 1991. This collection of songs earned Ron a publishing deal, and eventually a record contract, with Interscope Records.
Over two decades later, Ron is a busy musician with 13 studio albums under his belt, and contributions on 11 collaborative albums. His first five albums released over ten years beginning in 1991 are noted for the melancholic pop folk feel, with elegant melodies that are accentuated by use of guitars and economical application of other instruments.
Ron’s talent has earned him a number of impressive appearances and awards.: In May 2001, Ron performed on BBC’s Later … With Jools Holland musical showcase alongside R.E.M., Orbital and India.Arie. The following year, he was recognized for his talent when he was awarded the JUNO for Songwriter of the Year for “Whatever It Takes”.
His 2011 album Long Player Late Bloomer was short-listed for the Polaris Prize and nominated for the 2012 JUNO for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. While Ron didn’t take home either awards, both nominations did help to boost his profile and turn more people on to the talent that is Ron Sexsmith.
Sources: AllMusic.com, Wikipedia
- Ron sang "Bad Timing" with Blue Rodeo on their CMT special, "Blue Rodeo and Friends" in 2002.
- Jim Cuddy cites Ron Sexsmith as one of his influences.
- Ron opened for Blue Rodeo at several shows on The Days In Between tour in 2000.
- Both Jim and Ron performed at the Taste of the Danforth festival in 1999.
- NOW Magazine's Best Artists of 1999 list included Blue Rodeo (Best Band), James Gray and Bob Wiseman (Best Keyboard Player), Ron Sexsmith (Best Songwriter) and Jim Cuddy (Best Songwriter, Best Vocalist).
- Ron and Jim both appear on 1998's 30 Hour Famine, a benefit compilation CD.
- Ron played at the 1998 Stardust Picnic, Blue Rodeo's gift to summer music festivals.
- Bob Egan is reported to have 'sat in' with Ron Sexsmith prior to joining Blue Rodeo.
- Bob Wiseman produced Ron's 1991 Grand Opera Lane.
- Ron appeared on Bob Wiseman's CD Accidentally Acquired Beliefs. Ron sings background vocals on "Love is a Rose".
- Both Ron and Blue Rodeo provided "dark, bracing backing" on Neko Case's Furnace Room Lullaby. In fact, the YAHOO! music site describes this CD as including "Neko Case & Her Boyfriends ... Bob Egan and Ron Sexsmith."
- Ron is also connected to Blue Rodeo through John Borra. Borra has played and recorded with Ron, and has toured across Canada with Greg Keelor as both the opening act and bass player for Greg's solo band. James Gray has a cameo appearance on John Borra's 1999 CD Band. John Borra currently plays bass with Glenn Milchem's band The Swallows.
"Ron is brilliant songwriter. He also gives great advice." - Greg Keelor
"I've known Ron for a very long time. He's fantastic ... so musical, and a talented songwriter." - Jim Cuddy