Acclaimed singer, songwriter and bandleader Fred Eaglesmith is a genuine iconoclast and true original.
It’s the natural result of following the cue of his musical career and now 19 albums with the January 2012 release of 6 Volts.
The result is one of the most fascinating and musically rewarding careers in contemporary music.
As he has doggedly gone his own way as an independent musical artist, Eaglesmith has also enjoyed such high profile rewards in recent years as having his songs covered by country superstars Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert, among many other accomplishments.
6 Volts is yet another landmark on a journey.
The album takes its title from the battery that powered the game-changing transistor radio — introduced in 1954, the same year that rock’n’roll emerged into popular consciousness — and embodies the notion of back to the future.
Captured live in the studio with one microphone onto a one-track reel to reel recorder like so many enduring classics, 6 Volts also bristles with contemporary urgency.
By bringing the recording process all the way back home to its technologically basic origins, Eaglesmith succeeds in creating authentic and meaningful music. “There’s still a certain love to it that’s better than multitracking,” he observes. Music doesn’t get any more real than when you can’t overdub, autotune, or fix it in the mix.
6 Volts opens with the memerizing life affirming track Cemetery Road the tragic yet loving Katie, and the sparse and meditative Been a Long Time. It channels the raw rock’n’roll musical truths of his youth while offering a nod of homage to his country music inspiration on Johnny Cash.
The Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show will be at The Royal on Wednesday, May 16. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show time is about 8 p.m.