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Fred Eaglesmith Tinderbox (2008)

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Fred Eaglesmith Tinderbox (2008)

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Name:Fred Eaglesmith Tinderbox (2008)

Total Size: 67.18 MB

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Last Updated: 2010-10-06 17:21:58 (Update Now)

Torrent added: 2008-11-11 10:12:09

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Review by Jason MacNeil

Fred Eaglesmith works hard, doing things his way and reaping whatever accolades come as a result. So it's no surprise that the folksy troubadour offers up a healthy collage of styles beginning with the Appalachian-tinged "Sweet Corn" before heading directly into a rather groovy, soulful "Chain Gang" that could be mistaken for a Tom Waits b-side. Throughout it all though, Eaglesmith makes the album flow, especially on the Southern gospel-leaning "Shoulder To The Plow."

At 18 songs, there is a bit of fat here, but overall things gel. This is especially true on the old spiritual feel fueling "Killing Me," which brings to mind the Blind Boys Of Alabama, "Worked Up Field" is a song-dialogue mash up that sadly falls flat. Fortunately, that's one of the few exceptions to an otherwise quality effort with nuggets like the plodding but pretty "You Can't Trust Them" and the fire-and-brimstone blues of "Get On Your Knees."

A return to "Killing Me," "Killing Me II," is adequate, but the album could do without it. Nonetheless, the Canadian shines best on the tender, haunting "The Light Brigade." If you're waiting for Mark Knopfler to get around to the Notting Hillbillies again, this album will definitely suffice.

ARTiST: Fred Eaglesmith
ALBUM: Tinderbox
BiTRATE: 190kbps avg
QUALiTY: EAC Secure Mode / LAME 3.97 Final / -V2 --vbr-new / 44.100Khz
LABEL: Sonic Rendevouz
SiZE: 70.44 megs
PLAYTiME: 0h 48min 47sec total
RiP DATE: 2008-04-11
STORE DATE: 2008-04-29

Track List:
01. Sweet Corn 2:59
02. Chain Gang 2:38
03. Shoulder To The Plow 2:14
04. Quietly 3:09
05. Tinderbox 2:08
06. Killing Me 2:58
07. Worked Up Field 2:07
08. I Pray Now 1:53
09. You Can't Trust Them 3:39
10. Get On Your Knees 5:30
11. Fancy God 1:01
12. Wheels 2:36
13. Killing Me II 3:21
14. Stand 3:14
15. Reprise 1:13
16. The Light Brigade 3:43
17. Shoeshine 2:32
18. When 1:52

Release Notes:
Fred Eaglesmith's new album Tinderbox - out April 29 and sure to be the
acclaimed singer-songwriter's breakout release - is a work of near-literary
power, eloquence and lucidity, as noted in a recent four-star review in the
Montreal Gazette: "The vividly cinematic songs on Fred Eaglesmith's Tinderbox
make for a rumbling travelogue through rural Bible Belt country where the rains
haven't been falling for far too long and the true believers don't know what to
believe anymore. They feel like God's forsaken them in their hour of need; it's
like he's too busy being co-opted by rich folks and big government. It's
powerful stuff and Eaglesmith succeeds by matching his finely-crafted lyrics,
which capture the desperation deep in his characters' souls, with arrangements
that, while focused, seem to suggest confusion and disconnect. While most of
these songs form a kind of alt-gospel collection, Eaglesmith also sometimes gets
into affairs of the heart. 'Quietly' is a starkly beautiful song describing the
moment that love disintegrates."

Over the course of its 18 tracks, Tinderbox proves itself to be a landmark
release not just for Eaglesmith - long touted by critics as a premier songwriter
of these times and widely admired and covered by his fellow songwriters - but
within popular music overall.
Since leaving the family farm at age 15, guitar in hand, Eaglesmith has honed
his craft as a wandering troubadour, capturing the lives, emotions and travails
of seemingly common people with uncommon sensitivity, humanity and dignity and
rendering internal feelings and thoughts both palpable and powerful to the
listener. As Phil Gallo notes in Variety, "The sound of the road rumbles through
all of Eaglesmith's songs - the gravel hitting the wheel wells, the creak of a
truck door opening, the cadence of the rim hitting the asphalt when a tire goes
flat. Eaglesmith is not about the elevation of the common man but the depiction
of an actual life, operating at the eye level of a another man."

His previous 16 releases have won him comparisons to such major talents as Woody
Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, John Prine, T Bone Burnett and Steve
Earle. Fellow artists like superstar Toby Keith - who covered Eaglesmith's
"White Rose" on his recent hit album Big Dog Daddy and included his recording of
"Thinking 'Bout You" in the movie "Broken Bridges" and on its soundtrack album -
The Cowboy Junkies, Kasey Chambers, Mary Gauthier, Ralph Stanley II, Dar
Williams and Todd Snider have recorded his songs, and he is the subject of a
tribute album by other fellow songwriters. He boasts such a fervent coterie of
fans that he hosts three annual music festivals: Roots on the River every summer
in Vermont; the Fred Eaglesmith Texas Weekend each spring at Gruene Hall, the
mother church of the Texas roots music scene; and this year two Roots on the
Rail rolling music fests along both historic narrow-gauge railroads through the
American West embarking in late September and another into the Canadian arctic
in early November. Martin Scorsese and James Caan have used his music in their
film projects, and his songs are even included in the course curriculum of two

Tinderbox explores life, love, labor, spirituality and more both literally and
metaphorically, within a full-blooded musical and lyrical experience that draws
from folk, country, rock, gospel, old-time music, bluegrass and even spoken word
to create a stunning contemporary roots music all its own. It is bound if not
indeed fated to build on Eaglesmith's burgeoning buzz and cadre of supporters
and followers to raise his profile to the level his artistry merits, and also a
sure bet to show up on the year-end Best of 2008 lists of music critics and
publications. So do yourself a favor and give Tinderbox a listen, and don't be
surprised if you find yourself joining the ever-growing legion of "Fredheads."

Meanwhile Eaglesmith and his band continue to perform live shows where they
"rock like punks on a mission" playing "exactly like the sort of music you dream
of hearing in some crowded, hot, beery bar near closing time... a truly timeless
brand of primitive rock'n'roll," as says of his live recordings.
"[T]his was an evening to prove that Eaglesmith is a one-of-a-kind songwriter
and performer," notes the Austin Chronicle of one of his performances. "His band
crackled and stomped, while he shouted and moaned; Eaglesmith is as dynamic a
performer as has ever graced the Continental Club stage."

A highly independent musical artist long before the trend, Eaglesmith is a
talent whose time has come. "When it comes to music that feels real and rooted,"
concludes Variety, "the Eaglesmith model is the picture of the future, the
artist and the businessman rolled into one."

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