The numbers tell the story: 42 years on the road, 22 studio albums, 5 different band configurations, 15 band members, 11 buses. Countless stories.
One man: Fred Eaglesmith.
He’s appearing in a Vancouver Island exclusive event at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Oct. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Cowichan Folk Guild knows very well that he’s a real favourite with Valley music fans. They’ve brought him to the Islands Folk Festival to an uproarious welcome.
It’s not easy being Fred.
You needed to start writing songs when you were 10 years old, while growing up surrounded with poverty, agriculture and religion and eight siblings.
Finding that idea tough? So did he.
Eaglesmith ran away from home, hopping freight trains to anywhere.
He tried every stunt to get a gig and finally made his way to Nashville, with no money but a pocketful of songs.
There was nothing “overnight” about his success.
He got a record deal but then also lost it. He’s won awards but had to deal with daily breakdowns on the side of the road during relentless touring.
Eventually he became a cult hero, with a following of self-proclaimed “Fred Heads” but discovered he had to find his own core. Along the way Eaglesmith learned to value loyalty over show but also to cut folks some slack when necessary and concentrate on letting life flow out into great songs.
After years of touring the U.S., Canada, and Europe, having his songs covered by some of the biggest names in music, and even appearing on Letterman, Eaglesmith is at ease as an enigmatic, countrified, rock ‘n’ roll troubadour.
It should be a great night for fans, and he’s bringing his very musical wife, Tif Ginn, a singer and songwriter who has spent most of her life touring and playing music.
Her vocals and harmonies with Eaglesmith, along with her multiple instrument additions are just the icing on the cake.
Tickets are a reasonable $32 each or $29 for Cowichan Folk Guild Members. Get them online at www.cowichanpac.ca or at the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529 to reserve.