264. Fred Eaglesmith – “Tinderbox”

Fred Eaglesmith must have been living life pretty hard in the decade between “Lipstick…” and this release.

His voice has transformed to that of a man who sounds like he’s been gargling gravel. 

I say gravel, you think Tom Waits.  It’s inevitable.

This release shares some elements with that musical god’s work.

It sits in Tom’s stompy, more traditional output, with that multi-layered vocal effect.  The imagery is similar – of fields, religion, rural life.

It doesn’t have the vaudevillian quirkiness or absurdity of a Waits set. 

Instead it is a more candid, honest and ‘small’ release.  Eaglesmith manages to invoke a slightly gothic, noir vibe without stepping across the theatrical line.

This guy should be bigger, should be appearing at festivals I attend, and I should have more of his releases. 

And everyone should make video clips with Legomen:

The battering to Fred’s vocal chords has been worth it.  And whatever has prompted this songwriting was an adventure/revelation to be appreciated by us listeners.

File under: He’s started a fire

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