The return of a rock & roll show

Ontario native Fred Eaglesmith will come back to the Limestone City as part of his Travelling Steam Show tour

Catch the Travelling Steam Show on June 6 at Time to Laugh.
Catch the Travelling Steam Show on June 6 at Time to Laugh.

After 40 years of touring and simultaneously building a fan base, Fred Eaglesmith, Canadian alternative country musician, doesn’t need any more surprises.

“It’s a rock and roll show,” he said. “All your readers will know who I am.”

At 55 years old and coming up on his 40th year on the road, it’s safe to say he’s been around the bend. Inspired to pursue a career in music after watching Elvis Presley on television at age 11, Eaglesmith has clearly kept true to his pursuit.

After a brief phone conversation with the musician, it became apparent how routine a seemingly exhilarating life on the road has become to him.

His upcoming performances, while an aspect of a job that originated from a passion, have become habitual.

“I’ve been playing Kingston forever,” he said. “You come to work and you’re not excited or nervous anymore.”

The Southern Ontario native has lived a life of recording and travelling since his first self-titled album, Fred J. Eaglesmith, was released in 1980 when the artist was 22, featuring the hit single “Do You Love Me Now?” Since, he has released 18 albums and doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon.

Eaglesmith did not hesitate when claiming his fame.

“My songs have been recorded by major stars,” he said.

His latest album, 6 Volts, was released last year and features some deep, rugged blue grass tunes, much to the likes of Johnny Cash and Betty Oshawa.

Each track on the album was written by Eaglesmith himself and tells stories of his travelling life.

It is clear Eaglesmith has taken his life to the road, touring 265 days a year.

“Every day is a different story because we travel ... we never stop touring,” he said. “We cook our own food. We play all over the world.”

Eaglesmith is currently touring with his Travelling Steam Show alongside Bill Poss and Tif Gunn. Each show, he said, is a surprise. It’s hard to know what to expect.

“Every night is different, I never play the same set,” Eaglesmith said.

His life seems like the quintessential rock and roll life, even if it’s perceived as work.

Unlike other musical stars of today, Eaglesmith doesn’t indulge in a fancy tour buses. Instead, travels in an old, beat-up bus.

“I went to a hippie festival a couple weeks ago in Texas and the volunteer hippie was so sure that our buses could never be an entertainer’s bus so she didn’t allow us in,” said Eaglesmith.

Despite playing music everyday, Eaglesmith doesn’t have a favourite song to play live. When asked to elaborate on his tour, it was made clear his website had the information.

According to Eaglesmith’s website, his tour has raised over $10,000 for Operation Smile, an organization that funds surgeries for children with cleft lips and palates around the globe. Also a talented painter, it seems like this guy has done it all and more.

Fred Eaglesmith will perform on June 6 at Time to Laugh.


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