Northern Rebellion: The Fred Eaglesmith Show Starring Tif Ginn and The Pettit Brothers

Fred Eaglesmith

The heart of rock and roll is alive and well with Fred Eaglesmith's 20th album, Tambourine. Fusing together all of Fred's past influences, the result is pure rock 'n 'roll reminiscent of 1966.

Eaglesmith is a veteran of the music industry and at the same time is about as far away from actually participating in today's music industry as one could be. Never operating within anyone's boundaries, he continues to set the standard for independent artists everywhere. While blazing his own often colourful path he has avoided most of the traps and pitfalls of his peers, his career reads like a manual on how to succeed in music today without trying to fit into the traditional business models.

Tambourine was recorded live off the floor using an eight-track analogue console capturing the entire band playing together in the same room. Created during a month long session in an old hall in the hamlet of Vittoria, Ontario, Fred consciously stayed far away from anything that is popular in the mainstream music right now. The result a combination of Eaglesmith's craftsmanship in songwriting and a fusion of rock 'n' roll circa 1966, Motown, and even Tejano influences. Never one to shy away from taking chances with his music and career direction, Tambourine is no exception.

"When I put the songs together for Tambourine, I was thinking about the days when there were five push buttons on an automobile radio," Eaglesmith explains. "Everyone was listening to AM stations and, at any given time, one of those five buttons was playing a song worth listening to. The album is a walk through the garden of rock 'n' roll. The music's roots are firmly dug in the mid-to-late 60s. The primary essence is 1966 – the year that gave us Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and Question Mark & the Mysterians."

Unlike Eaglesmith's previous recordings the songs on Tambourine are more based on the music rather that the lyrics, often building upon a main guitar riff or bass line. The days spent recording in Eaglesmith's one room studio were long and arduous. Often arrangements would be worked out on the spot and with the band playing numerous live takes in the studio.

On the other hand, like a lot of Eaglesmith's albums, Tambourine mixes rock 'n' roll and R&B with richly drawn characters, meaty themes and stunning turns of phrase. The opening track, "What it Takes," is a song that touches upon a subject Eaglesmith is no stranger to: dedication and perseverance. The plaintive rock anthem with an irresistible beat "Can't Dance," lends his voice to young and old alike in an age of musical genre boundaries. Eaglesmith's vocals fit perfectly to the heartfelt lyrics of "Engineer," a broken hearted man's plea for peace, and in "That's What You Do," a narrative set to the band's spacious and soulful playing. The band shows their musicality and versatility on the Tejano influenced "Small Town." The driving, soul-infused "Nobody Gets Everything," is a splendid breakup tune with universal resonance. "Sally Green" gives a psychedelic, gospel-esque portrait of the girl you hate to love. Tambourine closes on the blue, brooding song, "Whip a Dog," with Eaglesmith and the band locked into a deep hypnotic groove.

Eaglesmith, a songwriter's songwriter, has a depth that is informed by miles of experience as a true road dog. Fred is not only the star of show but also the bus driver and chief mechanic while on tour, keeping him and his band on the road. Unlike many of today's artists, touring is not something he does some of the time or only in support of a new record. Touring is his life and The Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show is one of the last full time travelling shows today. Their busy itinerary added up to more than 270 days on the road last year and saw Fred only returning home long enough to play a handful of local shows and to go into the studio to record the new album.

Tif Ginn

Tif Ginn is a gutsy, amazing singer and a transcendent songwriter who
has spent most of her adult life touring North America playing music
professionally. Ginn toured first as half of the Fabulous Ginn Sisters,
releasing 3 critically acclaimed CDs then as part of the Fred Eaglesmith
Traveling Show. Now she takes a turn as a solo artist, fronting the band
she has been playing with for the last several years. The self-titled solo
debut will be released in April of 2012.

Produced by Fred Eaglesmith, "Tif Ginn" was recorded with his road-
weathered band at Eaglesmith's studio in Southern Ontario, Canada.
Eaglesmith used his trademark one-mic approach, utilizing just one
channel, sending the mono/analog signal to quarter-inch tape.

Nine of the twelve songs were co-written by Eaglesmith, who is himself
an iconic Americana songwriter. The songs indirectly reflect the kind
of 'struggle' that is living in a motorhome and touring for years without
much time to relax or regroup. They are songs of single moms, lovesick
fools, trailer park life, and abuse.

Eaglesmith's analog approach yields a rounded, smoky atmosphere that perfectly suits both the subject matter and the tour-tightened band. The bare, honest and emotional sound is the real thing and the result is a beautiful yet edgy sound.

Stylistically, the CD runs from sultry, jazzy country to angry punk,
embracing pop, Americana and folk along the way. The trademark
sound ties it all together delivering a mature and well-rounded product
that is at once fearless and remarkably listenable.

As part of the Fabulous Ginn Sisters and the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling
Show, Ginn has played over a thousand shows at some of the best rooms and festivals in North America. Her CDs have been played on Americana, folk and indie radio stations and her CDs have been ravely reviewed in publications all over the US, Canada and Europe.

$20.00 - $160.00

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