Yeah, that’s a mouthful for sure, but these things have been on my mind. It may seem random, but I swear, there’s a pattern. I was totally blown away last week when alt-country legend, Fred Eaglesmith made a solo-appearance in Juneau during his Yukon-Alaska Tour. It was a sunny Sunday in Juneau which can cause any event to totally flop because everyone’s out climbing mountains and fishing, but folks turned out eventually to nearly fill the small Northern Lights Lutheran Church where Eaglesmith warmed up in the church library in the presence of holiness while local singer/songwriter Buddy Tabor opened. I can’t get enough of Buddy Tabor’s dark-humor and songs inspired by the darkest of human emotions, though some people would rather pass. When I saw Buddy before the show I told him I was looking forward to some of his “happy songs” which got a good laugh. Check out this interview I did with Buddy last year (Part of Show #3, Work. interview in 2 parts. Part 2 stands alone part one is at about 18:30 into the show). Anyway Buddy was a perfect opening act as he was responsible for catching wind of Eaglesmith’s tour and inviting him to Juneau.
Eaglesmith was right on, totally yucking up the fact that he was a hellraising (zen-buddhist) hillbilly who needed to take a minute and collect himself while playing in a church setting. His between song banter was hilarious, the best joke being about the guy who walks into the dentist office and tells the denist, “I’ve got problem, I think I’m a moth” and the dentist says, “Sounds like a problem you should speak with a psychiatrist about” and the man say, “Yeah, I know” to which the dentist asks, “Then why are you here?”. “The light was on” replies the moth man. Yeah, tore me up and I’m not much for jokes. So the week leading up to the show I had one song from the one album of his I own, 50 Odd Dollars, Steel Guitar (listen hear at last.fm) totally playing on repeat in my head which just about drove me out of my mind (and of course he didn’t play it). The show was incredible and he did play, I Shot your Dog which I found myself talking about after a co-worker told me an Arizona rancher had just received a light 8-10 year Manslaughter sentence after shooting a dog that appeared to be charging his stock and then when the owner of the dog came over the hill to investigate the shots, shooting the dog’s owner as well. OK, but enough about Eaglesmith (though do check out this great song too) because you know he really reminded me of Steve Earle who by coincidence has a new album out of all Townes Van Zandt songs, called Townes. Dig it. And don’t forget Bobby D. or Jack Frost or whoever he thinks he is this time around, who’s back with his latest, Together Through Life, I’ll argue toe to toe with anyone who says he’s washed up because he’s back with his stellar band for the 3rd time and they may not be Blood on the Tracks but they’ve got a look and feel all their own though with a certain low-fi country consistency. Listen to the entire album for free here (requires registration).