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