During the concert, some home made pies were auctioned, and who but Fred was the auctioneer. He said prior to the auction that he and his group had played Ottawa last week in a 40 million dollar hall. “They don’t do pie auctions” he said – “they have benefactors”!
“It doesn’t get any better than this – a beautiful old town hall, a concert, and a pie auction”.
He told us that a man in BC, told by his doctors he had only a few weeks to live, told them he was not going until Fred came to town. “That’s better than Letterman” Fred said, referring to his recent appearance on that show. He told us that a boy who did not speak listened to one of his albums, and then started singing, and now speaks. “That’s better than a Tony!”.
I will not try to say anything about his music, other than this – If Norman Rockwell were a singer and songwriter, his name would have been Fred Eaglesmith.
The brief video is a little bit of the pie auction. I apologize for the very poor quality – totally my fault. My camera video was set on Compact, and I could not reset it to normal quickly enough. Hower, it will give you a bit of an idea of how the auction went, but in reality it was so so much better than the video shows.
Thanks for a great evening Fred, and perhaps someday you will include Carne Del Toro in your concerts.
I have been asked to explain the reference to Norman Rockwell. He was a painter who captured on canvas a broad section of ordinary people doing ordinary things during a distinct era in America. He did it with humour and a sense of nostalgia, and his paintings are iconic. Fred also captures ordinary people doing ordinary things in his music and there is an underlying sense of nostalgia, generous doses of humour and often pathos. If you listen to "John Deere B" you will picture the work worn farmer longing to buy that decrepit old tractor to ease his work load, only to be disappointed because a big corporation outbids him and uses it for a lawn ornament.
In "Rocky", you will meet characters and circumstances that you can picture immediately, identify with, and perhaps shed a few tears because the characters you see are your family, or perhaps your own future.
In "Small Motors", who has not been to a country fair and seen that same old man the song talks about, sitting on a steel implement seat with a small motor at his feet – it’s brass gleaming, it’s gold letters aglow, it’s black paint spotless, and it’s little flywheel humming steadily to the puhtush puhtush puhtush sound of the engine.
Through Fred’s music you will see the characters in your mind’s eye more clearly than even Rockwell could portray them, because they are people you recognize.
Fred is chronicling working class America song by song