Fred Eaglesmith has toured extensively throughout North American and Europe during a 30-year rock’n roll career.
But to celebrate the release of his 20th album Tambourine, the Juno award winner is returning to his small-town Ontario roots for an 18-stop tour honouring that background.
The tour includes nine stops at Royal Canadian Legion branches, including Tillsonburg this Sunday for a show scheduled to open at 3 p.m.
Opening act Tiff Ginn will be followed by Eaglesmith and his six-piece band’s unique show combining music and comedy with a twist.
“The performance harkens back to the 60s and 70s variety shows that were on TV,” said Eaglesmith via a press release. It’s a show.
“It’s a lot more than a concert.”
Eaglesmith’s songs have been covered by some of the biggest names in Nashville including Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert and featured in the play Dear Johnny Deere. The band has also been a musical guest on David Letterman’s late night show.
Eaglesmith’s music is inspired by the early rock’n roll era along with stories garnered on tour during his lengthy writing and singing career. Tambourine reflects that experience as well as paying homage to a time and place in Eaglesmith’s musical past.
“When I put the songs together for Tambourine, I was thinking about the days when there were five push buttons on an automobile radio. Everyone was listening to AM stations and, at any given time, one of those five buttons was playing a song worth listening to.”
Each show boasts a Charity Pie Auction. A rapid-fire auctioneer’s chant comes effortlessly to Eaglesmith encouraging the audience to bid on home-baked pastry. Last summer, the band raised $17,000 for Alberta flood relief, but most often, the money is donated to Operation Smile, a charity that helps treat facial deformities such as cleft palates in third world countries. In 2013, the band donated over $26,000 to Operation Smile.
“We all feel satisfied and rewarded when we can do something fun and simple to make a big change in a kid’s life,” Eaglesmith said.
Tickets for Sunday’s show are available online at www.fredeaglesmith.com or at the door. Eaglesmith will also be performing Thursday, April 17 at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 379 in Port Rowan with an 8 p.m. show opening.