Fred Eaglesmith The Bridge, Rozelle, April 1st
Train took almost an hour to go from Dulwich Hill to Town Hall, followed up by a bus debacle entirely of my own making, so I had no choice but to elbow Beccy Cole out of the way to get to the bar (no not really, but I would have.) $5 for a tinnie of VB! Pffft. When did the Bridge become the Basement? Anyway, that's all the bitching I'll do.
Bill Chambers opening, customarily solid covers of some of my favourite songs, Mary Gauther's I Drink, Steve Earle's Goodbye and Zimmy's Don't Think Twice. He also turned the stage over to Fred sideman and stirring singer/songwriter in his own right, Willie P. Bennett. He has the delectable Canadian twang like Fred too. Makes me happy to hear it, after years of working with Canucks I'm pretty good at telling it from accents from that other place. Of course the default position is to always assume Canadianess. You say to an American "So, where in Canada are you from?", they just laugh and its all good. But do it vice versa and let's just say its another excellent reason why you all should have a Living Will.
I digress. I don't have a set list for Fred and The Tonker who is far more familiar with every nook of his career than me has already indicated this morning his memory of the proceedings has a few gaps so .... I do know he did Wilder Than Her -- with Kasey Chambers on harmony -- because I totally adore that song. Actually it was my first exposure to Fred, via Dar Williams' version although I didn't know anything then about this (F.Eaglesmith) credited as writer. Fred was in typically fine form with the between song patter, including some droll observations about Mapquest's misleading him about the Anzac Bridge and "the worst thing a musican can do," in-store appearances. Did Alcohol and Pills, no Lucille. I look around at the packed room and wonder, where are all you people on regular weekends at local gigs? Also Freight Train, He's a Good Dog, Carmelita, Bob's Dogs and Burgs (hmmmmdogsnadburgshmmmmmm), Time to Get a Gun, Big Hair, Brand New Boy, Thirty Years of Farming, Your Sister Cried? And ... put a fork in me, I'm done. That's all I know. Oh, and Drive In Movie which I think Kasey joined in on too.
Update as my memory returns: Fred also did a deadpan little bit about the appearance on a Coogee fencepost of the Virgin Mary being inspired by an enterprising gelato salesman. Classic.
Honky Tonk Highway has an almost complete setlist.