The Mark of Excellence

Fred Eaglesmith

6 Volts

> > Jan 24 2012

Fred Eaglesmith - 6 Volts
By Kerry DooleVeteran Ontario troubadour Fred Eaglesmith has a following large and loyal enough to keep him constantly on the road, but he remains seriously undervalued by critics and the industry establishment ― no deserved Polaris or Juno nominations, for instance. Undeterred, he just keeps on putting out high quality records at a prolific rate. 6 Volts, his 19th, maintains the high standard. It's more stripped down than 2010's Cha Cha Cha and is, in fact, about as lo-fi as you can get. It was recorded on one mic, live-off-the-floor, on one track, to quarter-inch tape, with long-time comrade Scott Merritt assisting. The old school sonic approach perfectly matches the rugged authenticity of Eaglesmith's voice and sparse, poetic narratives. He gets reflective about playing the bars on "Stars," name checking old pal Willie P. Bennett, and scores a well-aimed punch at Johnny-come-lately hipsters on "Johnny Cash" ("too bad you hardly played him when he was alive"). Yes, there are more songs about murder and truckers, but Eaglesmith always breathes new life into old themes. There's nothing underpowered about these 6 Volts.
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