Born in Toronto, Canada, and raised in White Plains, New York, Colin Linden returned to Canada in 1970. He was already a guitar prodigy at 11 years old, and when most kids that age were playing sports, Colin was meeting and being mentored by one of his musical heroes, the great bluesman Howlin Wolf, which helped set the youngster on a course to pursue the sounds of his dreams. That encounter helped fuel a career that has featured his work on literally hundreds of albums. At last count, the total of recordings on which he has played approaches 400, while over 100 albums bear the Produced by Colin Linden credit.
Colin Linden is a genuine renaissance man of roots music. Hes a member of the highly successful trio, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a singer and songwriter, an in-demand and prolific record producer, musical director on the hit TV show Nashville and sideman to the stars as guitarist for the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
Although Linden has had his hands in so many pots, he’s perhaps better known for his work on the foot-stompin TV show Nashville, which just finished its sixth and sadly, final season.
Linden is Nashvilles musical director and has also performed in front of the camera as a guitarist or bandleader. According to the Toronto Star, Linden got the job in part because he had already known the shows executive producer, T-Bone Burnett, from working with him on Cockburns 1994 album, Dart to the Heart, and the movie soundtrack from O Brother Where Art Thou? in 2000.
Linden’s work on Nashville also helped him, Stephen Fearing, and Tom Wilson develop the list of guest artists for both Blackie and the Rodeo Kings albums Kings and Kings (2017) and Kings and Queens (2011). Country music can be a small world. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, whose music is often labeled roots in Canada and Americana in the US, is becoming increasingly renowned.