Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fred Eaglesmith

Fred the Auctioneer
In Sue Wiegand’s excellent blog “ Stories from a small town”, she reports that Fred told her that he hopes he does not “make it” until the day before he dies.
In my opinion, and that shared by all Fred Heads everywhere, he has already more than “made it”! Still, we all know what he meant by that, and I am pretty sure that all his fans hope he never does “make it” if it means that he stops being the Fred we know – the Fred that entertains people in small groups in halls and pubs and theaters. The Fred that allows you to get up close and personal.
His concert in Orono last night was a testimony to everything he espouses. He delights in entertaining.
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.
Addition to original post

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

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Lesson in Canadian Citizenship

Becoming Canadian
A friend contacted us with obvious excitement – she was about to receive her Canadian Citizenship - would we like to attend the swearing in ceremony?
Of course we would, and we did.
We arrived to a packed courtroom, crowded with the friends and families of 42 applicants representing 23 countries. It was a colourful crowd in both clothing and skin, and there was a buzz of excitement in adults and children alike.
The judge made comments before and after the swearing in ceremony. His words were exceptionally well chosen, and were explanatory, advisory, and cautionary. As he spoke and the audience listened intently, I found myself experiencing an emotion that has been rare in recent years – patriotism, a sudden burst of pride in Canada, and in being Canadian! Perhaps the last time I truly felt this was during the Vancouver Olympics.
Another friend commented after the ceremony that “It was a wonderful message for the new Canadians, and also for me. We all need to be reminded of what we have and who we are”.
I don’t know if all swearing in ceremonies are as meaningful as this one was, and I doubt any judge could do a better presentation. I do know that all Canadians could benefit from attending one of these ceremonies.
In the picture below, our friend Monica is congratulated by the judge.
and below, the radiant smile of a new Canadian!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Morgan sings Someone Like You

Morgan sings Someone Like You

This song is originally by Adele, and is the song Morgan sang recently at her audition for Canada’s Got Talent. This is the short version required by the audition, but this video was done in our home on Thanksgiving.
We don’t know the results as the auditions were private and only attended by the video crew. Judges will determine the results by watching the videos. If she should make it to the second round, she will be advised by the end of October.
Regardless of the outcome, we are proud that she tried out! I hope you enjoy this video.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Brown Bat

Our very own Little Brown Bat
This little guy is not bothered by politics or legislation, or the evils of the world. He just does what his kind had done for eons!
In case you dont know what you are looking at, this is a little brown bat who has made his/her home behind the decorative window frame (see picture below) on our front deck.
He comes out at dusk and does his thing. Then he goes to his cozy home. In the afternoon he likes to stick his head out to get some sun. That is when I took this picture. If you enlarge it you can see the claws he uses to grasp the brick.
Big ears huh! Aint he cute?