Fred Eaglesmith

The Details

Like all great and genuine artists, Fred Eaglesmith lets his muse call the tune on his 18th album, Cha Cha Cha. And this time out it’s the big beat of rock’n’roll. And it is not only rock’n’roll, though that is at the heart of this collection of reflections on the always fertile subject of love by one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriter of our day. With his usual creative panache, Eaglesmith splashes the style with such colors as 1950s movie music, soulful backing vocals, dance rhythms and more. He reconfigures one of the most potent essences of popular music into something all his own as well as both timeless yet urgently contemporary.

Cha Cha Cha percolates with the primal beats, grooves and vibe of rock’n’roll to fire a collection of sharp and concise songs about lovers who are faithless, fickle, feckless, lonesome, lost, loyal and even fleeting shadows and ghosts. Yet, as always, it’s just Eaglesmith doing what comes naturally and burnishing his own vital brand of music with further character and dimensions. And thanks to the prime road seasoning of his band and back-up singers the Fabulous Ginn Sisters, the entire affair burns with the heat of glowing embers.

Eaglesmith has followed his muse and the music to wherever it takes him since he left the family farm at age 15 to pursue the hitchhiking and freight-hopping trail of a traveling troubadour. As a result he has forged one of the most distinguished and unique independent careers in popular music from the grassroots upwards, marked by a consistent string of critical superlatives for his work. And now after being a leading light in both the new folk and Americana movements, Eaglesmith stays at the cutting edge of the musical zeitgeist to help spark a rock’n’roll renewal. “I still want to be vibrant and I still want to be on fire and I still have passion,” he asserts. “I don’t ever wanna stay in the ghetto.”

In the end, within what he calls “the weirdest little career that works so well,” the journey is still as important for Eaglesmith as any destinations, if not more so. “I can drive down some little sheep road in Scotland or Australia for eight hours and there’s people who’ll gather up in some shack or some barn or some hall to see my show. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Joining Fred are The Ginn Sisters.