You are here: Home Listings Details - Fred Eaglesmith
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

L.A. Beat

EMail Print



Fred Eaglesmith
Thu, Jul 9
The Slice - Lethbridge


 Tickets cost $20 from the Slice.

 The show begins at 9 p.m. 

Fred Eaglesmith is a Canadian songwriting icon with a wicked sense of humour who writes the best train songs ever. Just a few of his  highlights include 49 Tonnes, I Like Trains and Freight Train.

 The New Yorker magazine said it best: “If you’re missing Fred Eaglesmith, you’re really missing out.” An award-winning and acclaimed music auteur of the highest order, he has forged a singular and distinctive legacy with his songs, recordings, live performances, achievements and impact unlike that of anyone else in contemporary music. And done so as a fiercely independent and original artist through the sheer power of the music he creates.

His 17 albums over the last three decades — many of them released on his own label — have consistently evoked critical raves, and he’s been compared to a broad blue-ribbon list of musical icons. His fellow songwriters regularly record his songs and sing his praises. He hosts a number of music festivals across North America, where he plays hundreds of dates a year in addition to touring Europe and Australia. Devoted fans follow him from one show to another to savor what one reviewer calls the “fury and fun” of his concerts. His releases consistently hit the upper reaches of the Americana charts, and he’s the only Canadian to ever write a No. 1 bluegrass hit. His songs have even become part of the course curriculum at two colleges, and the paintings he creates when not making music have been shown in numerous prestigious galleries.

His latest album, 2008’s Tinderbox, amply displays the qualities that have made Eaglesmith a true cult phenomenon. Nominated for a Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year as well as making the short list for The Polaris Prize, the Top 10 Americana chart album explores spirituality, faith, life, love, labor and more within a full-blooded musical and lyrical experience that draws from folk, country, rock, gospel, old-time music, bluegrass and even spoken word to create a stunning contemporary roots music all its own. It’s been hailed as a “masterwork” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “milestone” and “one of the best albums of last year” (San Jose Metro) as well as “exceptional” (Americana Roots), “beautiful” (Ink 19), “magical” (Houston Press), “magnificent” (Rave), “hypnotic” (Santa Barbara News Press), “epic in scope and cinematic in effect” (Guelph Mercury) and “a deep, sad and masterful album that transcends genre and time. It is Tom Waits meets Pink Floyd meets Hank Williams” (Calgary Herald).

Reviews of Tinderbox have also likened Eaglesmith to Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie as well Texas singer-songwriter heroes Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Ray Wylie Hubbard (who says that as far as songwriters go, Eaglesmith “may be the best”) and even revered author James Agee to go alongside such previous critical comparisons as John Prine, Link Wray, T Bone Burnett, Del Shannon and, in his live shows, even Led Zeppelin. He followed the album by crisscrossing America and Canada to rapturous audience receptions as well as similar response on tours to Holland, Belgium, Great Britain and Australia.

Eaglesmith comes by his exceptional musicality and lyrical command naturally and honestly, through dedication to his craft and delivery and building his following from the grassroots upwards ever since he left the family farm at age 15 to become an itinerant budding troubadour. His life story could in fact be the subject of one of his songs, which is one reason why Eaglesmith has such a deft touch for finding the literary significance within the lives of seemingly common people and rendering their tales, thoughts and feelings with profound humanity and sensitivity alongside a knack for creating a contextual sense of time and place that resonates with reality.

Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer for his “devastatingly good, economical songwriting,” and noted by the Arizona Daily Star as “a prolific singer/songwriter often hailed as a genius at his craft,” Eaglesmith has had his songs recorded by such notable fellow songwriters as Toby Keith, The Cowboy Junkies, Chris Knight, Kasey Chambers, Mary Gauthier, Todd Snider and Dar Williams as well as bluegrass stars James King (who took Eaglesmith’s “Thirty Years of Farming” to the top of the bluegrass charts) and Ralph Stanley II, and has been the subject of three tribute albums. Martin Scorsese and James Caan have used his compositions in film projects, and Keith included Eaglesmith’s recording of “Thinking ‘Bout You” in his film “Broken Bridges” and its soundtrack CD. “His canon of well over 1,000 songs is stunning,” notes the New Brunswick Daily Gleaner.

In live performance, Eaglesmith and his band “rock like punks on a mission.” and deliver “a truly timeless brand of primitive rock’n’roll [that is] exactly like the sort of music you dream of hearing in some crowded, hot, beery bar near closing time,” observes in reviews of his live albums. Onstage he is also a sharp between song raconteur whose tales and observations are as keen and compelling as his songs and frequently as hilarious as the best stand-up comedians. For many years running, he has hosted the annual Roots on the River festival in Vermont, the Fred Eaglesmith Texas Weekend at Gruene Hall (the mother church of the Lone Star State music scene) and two more yearly festivals in Canada. His youthful travels hopping freight trains inspired the Roots on the Rails rolling music festivals, for which he currently hosts two annual rail trips that ride everywhere from scenic and historic narrow gauge lines in the American West to, this last year, into the Canadian arctic.

Through it all, Eaglesmith remains modest and resolutely hard working. He also gives generously of his time and talents to such causes as his own fundraising initiative to equip migrant farm workers with bicycles, reflectors and safety devices, Reflections, as well as being a spokesman, along with Bono and Alanis Morisette, for Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign. He also does charity work for The Schizophrenia Society of Canada, The Fur and Feather Wildlife Center, The Equestrian Association for the Disabled, World Vision International and conservation efforts near where he lives in Southern Ontario.

I have the weirdest career in the world, a little tiny career that works so well,” Eaglesmith concludes of the artistic niche he has carved out for himself. “I’m just so lucky and so fortunate, I try not to take it for granted.” 


The SliceMap
The Slice   -   Website
314 - 8th Street South
T1J 2J6
Country: ca



Not only do we have the best pizza in town, we are also the center of Lethbridge's NightLife.

We are the only bar in town featuring live music every day of the week. Canadian touring artists, local legends and new emerging artists, everyone stops here.

The ONLY Gig Guide that matters
<<  January 2023  >>
 Su  Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa 
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  8  91011121314


Music Beat

Lights. Camera. Action.
Inside L.A. Inside

CD Reviews


Music Beat News

Art Beat News

Drama Beat News

Museum Beat News