Fred Eaglesmith, a renowned Canadian folk-rock singer from Southern Ontario is currently in the middle of another extensive tour, with a stop in Olds tomorrow night at Tracks Pub.
We caught up with him last week as he was on the road to Athabasca.
In fact, he's doing an interview while driving into a classic Alberta blizzard this Friday afternoon.
“I'm in a bit of a snow storm, but it's alright,” he says.
But he wouldn't have it any other way. His music and art are simultaneously his profession and his leisure.
“There's no holiday. This is the holiday.”
“I'm just lucky. Very lucky. I'm in a snowstorm on the way to Athabasca, and it's as good as it gets.”
In order to keep the band fresh, Eaglesmith tries to do different songs every night.
“I have so many, I just pick ‘em up on the fly. I just remember a song and say ‘Let's play that one now,'”
“Sometimes it's a little tentative. That's where it gets exciting, you know? It's like one wheel is off the tracks.”
Eaglesmith says this energy and “edge” is what he seeks, because he knows the people connect with something raw and live.
“That's what we're all looking for, you know? There's too much planning. There's not enough edge going on.”
“I'm really tapped into how to stay creative. The biggest way is to stay very open-minded.”
This is important, he says, because the more open-minded a person stays, the more open minded you are.
“And then, new things happen, because you're open-minded, right? I'm 53 years old, and I'm still discovering a lot of new things.”
Something that interests Eaglesmith are the fans that come from the prairies, which he says contain fans with an attractive quality.
“Albertans are really good listeners. They really pay attention to songs. They're really more like Texans than Ontario people.”
“It's an Alberta and Saskatchewan phenomenon, this sort of listening so intently.”
Eaglesmith doesn't think his show at Tracks in Olds last July was promoted as well as it has been this year.
“That's why we came back right away. We just thought we could do better here. I think it will be a better show.”
“We always get a lot of people after saying ‘Oh, Fred was here? I never even knew!” said Tracks owner and operator Scott Van de Pypekamp.
Last July, seats at Eaglesmith's performance at Tracks quickly filled, as the intimate venue has about 100 seats.
aVan de Pypekamp is hoping fans and concert goers won't be scared off by the $15 cover charge, as Tracks typically doesn't charge for its concerts.
“It's worth it. You get to meet the guy usually [at Tracks]. It's up close and personal,” said Van de Vypekamp.
Sundre act Ryan and Corynn Sande will be opening for Eaglesmith.
Concert-goers can catch Eaglesmith's show the evening of Wednesday, March 16th, at Tracks Pub in Olds.