On the road again: Fred Eaglesmith returns to Porkies festival
ONTONAGON– For singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith, life on the road is about the people he meets along the way.
In late August that road will bring him back to the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival.
The Fred Eaglesmith Show starring Tif Ginn is the first headliner of the 2018 festival, with Eaglesmith having now swapped out a full band for the wide-ranging instrument and vocal abilities of his wife.
“It’s really just me again with my songs,” Eaglesmith said.
Audiences haven’t missed the band so far in the three years since he made the change. “So far they really like the show better. It’s a change, I’ve had a band for so many years now it’s a different thing and they seem really happy.”
An alternative country singer, Eaglesmith is known for his storytelling lyrics, often inspired by people he meets in his travels.
“Always there’s great people looking out for you and being nice to you. People with a story,” he said, recounting meeting one man on the oilfields of Texas. He met the man after he had driven from Oklahoma to take his welding test only to fail and start driving another 600 miles to another oilfield where he could try again.
“I like to meet those guys, they’re real interesting to me. It’s not always that there’s a lake or a sea, it’s just an interesting person,” Eaglesmith explained.
Songwriting has always been a big part of his life. If a topic interests him, he’ll just write it — a process he compares to having a baby.
“There’s a new thing in the world that … I’ve facilitated and so I think it would be no different than a tradesman who would do a really good job and build a building and you look at the building and go, ‘that building was never there before and now it’s there. Maybe not forever but it’s going to be there a long time for people to look at and enjoy so I’m glad I did that.’ That’s sort of how I feel about it,” Eaglesmith said.
“I think that I try to be really honest with my songs and my songwriting … No B.S., just tell the truth and I think some people appreciate that,” he added.
At their performance, audiences can expect something a little unusual, with Eaglesmith and Ginn adhering to the old school of rock and roll; fun, entertaining, unpretentious and keeping the audience just a little on their toes.
“It’s not some little quiet thing, sometimes it is, but it’s not some little sad quiet thing, it’s still got some revolution,” Eaglesmith said.
The Porcupine Mountains Music Festival runs from August 24 to 26 with the other two headliners set on Donna the Buffalo for Saturday and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams for Sunday.