Fred Eaglesmith

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Fred Eaglesmith
Eaglesmith 2006.jpg
Fred Eaglesmith at the Roots of Heaven festival at Patronaat in Haarlem, the Netherlands (2006)
Background information
Birth name Frederick John Elgersma
Born (1957-07-09) July 9, 1957 (age 59)
Origin Caistor Centre, Ontario, Canada
Genres Alternative country
Occupation(s) singer/songwriter
Years active 1980–present
Labels A Major Label
Associated acts Willie P. Bennett
Website www.fredeaglesmith.com

Frederick John Elgersma (born July 9, 1957), known by the stage name Fred Eaglesmith, is a Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter.[1] He is known for writing songs about vehicles, rural life, down-and-out characters, lost love and quirky rural folk. His songwriting uses techniques of short story writing, including unreliable narrators, surprise endings, and plot twists. In 2016, Eaglesmith tours extensively with his band.[2]

Early life[edit]

Eaglesmith, one of nine children, was raised by a farming family near Guelph in rural Southern Ontario.[3] He began playing the guitar at age 12.[4]

Career[edit]

As a teenager Eaglesmith hopped a freight train to Western Canada and began writing songs and performing.

Eaglesmith founded a band known as the Smokin' Losers. He later formed a group called known as both the Flying Squirrels[5] and the Flathead Noodlers, switching the name to represent different styles of music. The Flathead Noodlers play bluegrass, while the Flying Squirrels play more folk and rock. His first self-titled album was released in 1980.[6]

Eaglesmith appeared in a 2001 television movie, The Gift.

A typical Fred Eaglesmith show includes his music set between several lengthy between-song comic monologues by Eaglesmith. Topics in the past have included stories about crossing the U.S.–Canada border, Newfoundlanders, and some friends from an Indian reserve. His fans are known as "Fredheads", a nod to deadheads, who followed the Grateful Dead. He is known to tour extensively throughout Canada and the U.S.

When Eaglesmith appears in solo performances, he bills himself as Fred J. Eaglesmith. In addition to his own albums, he frequently collaborated with the late Willie P. Bennett, a former member of Eaglesmith's band, who stepped down after a heart attack in early 2007.[7] Eaglesmith publishes his own records.

In 2010, Eaglesmith was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman as the musical guest. He performed "Careless" from the album Cha Cha Cha.

Since 2012, performances have been billed as the Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show and include opening songs performed by Bill Poss, the Ginn Sisters, and his wife Tif Ginn.[8]

Eaglesmith's songs have been included in the musical play, Dear Johnny Deere.[9] The play was performed at the Charlottetown Festival in 2013.[10]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Fred J. Eaglesmith – guitars, vocals
  • Matt Simpson – guitar, organ, banjo, vocals
  • Kori Heppner – drums
  • Justine Fischer – stand-up bass
  • Tiffani Ginn – vocals, accordion, guitar, melodica

Former members[edit]

  • Willie P. Bennett – mandolin, harmonica, vocals
  • David Essig – mandolin, guitar
  • Kevin Komatsu – drums
  • Roger Marin, Jr. – pedal steel, guitar, vocals
  • Ralph Schipper – bass
  • Jude Waldman - drums
  • Dan Walsh – dobro, guitar, vocals
  • Skip Wamsteeker – drums
  • Washboard Hank – washboard, dobro[11]
  • Darcy Yates – bass
  • Luke Stackhouse – bass, vocals
  • Brit Ginn – vocals, flute
  • Mike Zinger – mandolin
  • Bruce Aitken- Drums

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Fred Eaglesmith (1980)
  • The Boy That Just Went Wrong (1983)
  • Indiana Road (1987)
  • There Ain't No Easy Road (1992)
  • Things Is Changin' (1993)
  • Paradise Motel (1994)
  • Drive-In Movie (1995)[12]
  • Lipstick, Lies and Gasoline (1997)[12]
  • 50 Odd Dollars (1999)[3][11]
  • Live: Ralph's Last Show (2001)[13]
  • Falling Stars and Broken Hearts (2002)
  • The Official Bootleg Series, Vol. 1 (2002)
  • Balin (2003)
  • The Official Bootleg Series, Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Dusty (2004)
  • Milly's Cafe (2006)
  • Tinderbox (2008)
  • Cha Cha Cha (2010)[10]
  • 6 Volts (2011)
  • Tambourine (2013)[10]

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1998 "105"[14] Steven Goldmann
1999 "Rodeo Boy"
2007 "Thinkin' 'bout You"[15] Michael Salomon
2010 "I Would" Roger Maunder
2013 "Johnny Cash"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Here Publishing (29 March 2005). The Advocate. Here Publishing. pp. 65–. ISSN 00018996. 
  2. ^ " Fred Eaglesmith Explains His Creative Push Forward with 'Tambourine'". Exclaim!, By Kerry Doole, Jan 29, 2014
  3. ^ a b CMJ Network, Inc. (July 1999). CMJ New Music Monthly. CMJ Network, Inc. pp. 47–. ISSN 10746978. 
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1 November 1997). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 10–. ISSN 00062510. 
  5. ^ No Depression. No Depression. 2001. p. 121. 
  6. ^ "Fred Eaglesmith rocks the Empire". Dakota Student, October 4, 2016
  7. ^ Ray Robertson (21 March 2016). Lives of the Poets (with Guitars): Thirteen Outsiders Who Changed Modern Music. Biblioasis. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-1-77196-073-1. 
  8. ^ "Fred Eaglesmith performed in concert in Kamsack". Kamsack Times, October 31, 2016
  9. ^ "Fred in your head: Eaglesmith musical illuminates rural life". Cam Fuller, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, September 15, 2016
  10. ^ a b c "New Fred Eaglesmith album worth the wait". The Guardian, January 11, 2014
  11. ^ a b "Fred Eaglesmith - 50-Odd Dollars". No Depression, June 30, 1999
  12. ^ a b Jason Schneider (15 December 2010). Whispering Pines: The Northern Roots of American Music... from Hank Snow to the Band. ECW Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-55490-552-2. 
  13. ^ Mois Benarroch (14 July 2008). The Modern Troubadour - Music Reviews of Singer Songwriters. Lulu.com. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-1-4092-1059-7. 
  14. ^ "CMT : Videos : Fred Eaglesmith : 105". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  15. ^ "CMT : Videos : Fred Eaglesmith : Thinkin' 'Bout You (from the CMT film Broken Bridges)". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]