Review: Fred Eaglesmith, The Maze, by Peter Palmer
Farming, poverty and religion were, he claims, the primary influences. Fred Eaglesmith is a child of the Fifties from southern Ontario, a singer-songwriter who leans towards alternative country music.
A long-standing rebel with a compassionate core, he laced his songs with stories and jokes, mixing homespun sayings with ruder material.
On the subject of peace movements, he argued that peace begins in the home. That sentiment triggered a burst of applause, and so did his reason why he saw himself as the richest guy present.
It's not because Eaglesmith earns the fees of those middle of the road pop luminaries he mockingly parodied. But he came over as approaching a state of contentment.
He's ever happy to laugh at the world, from leading royals to American customs officials. And he appreciated some sharp repartee from a sizeable audience.
Showing an unobtrusive mastery of rhythm and dynamics, his singing and guitar playing were direct and alluring. His latest album yielded several fine numbers from Katie to Dangerous.
Like Eaglesmith, the personable British singer and guitarist Boss Caine recalled Gram Parsons in his opening set. Intimate rock music is no contradiction.