Charlotte Street Arts Centre | October 8, 2015
Eaglesmith is a veteran of the music industry and at the same time is about as far away from actually participating in today’s music industry as one could be. Never operating within anyone’s boundaries, he continues to set the standard for independent artists everywhere. While blazing his own often colourful path he has avoided most of the traps and pitfalls of his peers, his career reads like a manual on how to succeed in music today without trying to fit into the traditional business models.
Tambourine was recorded live off the floor using an eight-track analogue console capturing the entire band playing together in the same room. Created during a month long session in an old hall in the hamlet of Vittoria, Ontario, Fred consciously stayed far away from anything that is popular in the mainstream music right now. The result a combination of Eaglesmith’s craftsmanship in songwriting and a fusion of rock ‘n’ roll circa 1966, Motown, and even Tejano influences. Never one to shy away from taking chances with his music and career direction, Tambourine is no exception.
“When I put the songs together for Tambourine, I was thinking about the days when there were five push buttons on an automobile radio,” Eaglesmith explains. “Everyone was listening to AM stations and, at any given time, one of those five buttons was playing a song worth listening to. The album is a walk through the garden of rock ‘n’ roll. The music’s roots are firmly dug in the mid-to-late 60s. The primary essence is 1966 – the year that gave us Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and Question Mark & the Mysterians.”
Unlike Eaglesmith’s previous recordings the songs on Tambourine are more based on the music rather that the lyrics, often building upon a main guitar riff or bass line. The days spent recording in Eaglesmith’s one room studio were long and arduous. Often arrangements would be worked out on the spot and with the band playing numerous live takes in the studio.