Eaglesmith alights in Canmore
Hot on the heels of a new release, Fred Eaglesmith is heading for Canmore.
Eaglesmith, a southern Ontario native who plays over 250 shows worldwide each year, delivers a trademark style that draws from folk, country, rock, gospel, old-time music, bluegrass and spoken word.
He plays the Canmore Legion, Tuesday (July 17).
Eaglesmith penned a number one bluegrass hit on the U.S. charts; the only Canadian to ever achieve that honour. His critically-acclaimed album Tinderbox (2008) climbed to the U.S. top 10, while earning a Juno nomination for Best Roots & Traditional Album. Career highlights include a Juno win plus additional nods, a Canadian Independent Music Award and a spot on the Polaris Music Prize short list.
Eaglesmith is a true original who has now released 19 albums with the January 2012 release of 6 Volts.
He has doggedly gone his own way as an independent artist and has enjoyed having his songs covered by country superstars Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert, among many other accomplishments.
6 Volts is yet another landmark on his journey. The album takes its title from the battery that powered the game-changing transistor radio – introduced in 1954, the same year that rock ’n’ roll emerged into the popular consciousness – and embodies the notion of back to the future.
Captured live in the studio with one microphone onto a one-track reel-to-reel recorder like so many enduring classics, 6 Volts bristles with contemporary urgency.
By bringing the recording process all the way back home to its technologically basic origins, Eaglesmith creates authentic and meaningful music. “There’s still a certain love to it that’s better than multitracking,” he observes. “Music doesn’t get any more real than when you can’t overdub, autotune, or fix it in the mix.”
6 Volts opens with the life affirming track “Cemetery Road,” the tragic yet loving “Katie,” and the sparse and meditative “Been a Long Time.” It channels the raw rock’n’roll musical truths of his youth while offering a nod of homage to his country music inspiration on “Johnny Cash.”
“My Dad had an old console radio on top of the clothes dryer, and when Johnny Cash came on, he would put one hand on each side of the radio and really listen to that song. It really meant that much to him,” said Eaglesmith.
Since his first album in 1980, Eaglesmith has managed to blend genres and categories. He also inspired the Roots on the Rails rolling music fests and hosts its excursions on scenic railways as well as, last year, at sea. When not writing, recording and performing music, Eaglesmith creates visual art that is exhibited in commercial galleries and museums.
One of nine children raised on a farm in Ontario, Eaglesmith remains tied to the land and the lives, labours, trials, tribulations and triumphs of everyday people that have consistently given his work its enduring emotional resonance. After his family lost its farm, he set out on his own at age 15, hitchhiking and hopping trains across North America and honing his craft as a writer, singer and musical entertainer in hobo camps and for crews of fellow forest firefighters before working his way upward in small clubs and coffeehouses.
These days Eaglesmith is in motion most of the year from show to show in a school bus and RV that have been converted to run on both gas and used cooking oil they get from restaurants and diners along the way.
“Times are hard and things are tough for people, and we shouldn’t be riding in busses that look like bachelor apartments,” he said. As a result, ”It makes me sound like the truth when I’m up there singing because it is the truth.”
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.