Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fred Eaglesmith @ Jammin Java

On Tax Day, April 15th, we headed out to our favorite local venue to see alt-county singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith perform. For those non Fredheads, Eaglesmith has penned hundreds of songs recorded on over a dozen records, CDs, bottlegs, you name it. He is popular both in his native Canada, where he won a Juno - think Grammy - for Drive-In Movie and in the states, where his last release, Milly's Cafe, spent weeks in the U.S. Americana Top 10 chart. And Eaglesmith is probably the most popular non-Texan performer around Austin; who else can have a three day music festival named in their honor at historic Gruene Hall.

We were hoping to hear our favorite tunes such as Cumberland County, Alcohol & Pills, 49 Tons, and Freight Train, of which, we heard a couple, but no one walked out "disappointed". Throughout the night Eaglesmith alternated between entertaining the audience with his unique voice and needling or poking fun at the audience, hippies, yoga, and socialized medicine. No politically correctness here. The same is true for his songs. His latest CD, Tinderbox, highlights the daily struggles of southern farmers; but if you really want to hear the him rock listen to Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline. Or better yet, he plays anywhere between 150 and 200 shows a year - so attend one of these events and purchase one of his bootleg CDs. Eaglesmith also organizes or participates in several music festival throughout the year as well as two musical train trips. Where else can you become a Fredhead and watch polar bears on the same trip. Check his website for details.

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