On the next TTBTGH

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Whenever there’s an artist that I’m a fan of in Winnipeg on a Sunday, I do everything I can to get them live in the studio. And I must say, I’ve been pretty darn successful in the past. Past guests include Stephen Fearing, Eric Bogle, Luke Doucet, and a whole lot more. Of course, not everybody is in town on a Sunday and not everyone can make it down to the studio, so I often line up phone interviews as well.

But sometimes… artists, no matter how good my instructions and no matter how much they promise to be there, sometimes… well… sometimes they just don’t call or show up. It’s a part of life. Usually there’s a good excuse. Sometimes, however, the artist just forgets, screws up the time, needs dental work, or just plain doesn’t feel like talking to me. I can’t blame ’em, really.

And nobody has been a no-show more times than Fred Eaglesmith. I don’t know what it is, but Fred and I just can’t seem to connect. In 2002, I went for weeks at a time trying to talk to Fred. WEEKS! Every week, his wonderful publicist would tell me “he’ll be there this time.” Every week I had numbers where I could contact Fred if he didn’t call (I’ve heard his answering machine message many, many times. I’ve also spoken to band-members, ex-wives, children, publicists, etc…) but no matter what the situation, no Fred. (I should mention that I did FINALLY get to speak to Fred (briefly) on December 23, 2002, but he phoned almost two hours late, with only a few minutes left in my show, from a pay phone in Port Dover. It was Christmas, so I forgave him.)

If you’ve been a listener for a while, you may remember “The Fred Eaglesmith Clause,” which I used to enact whenever I had an interview scheduled. It said that although I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that the interview will happen, I will not be held responsible for musicians who fail to call or show up for whatever reason. It ain’t my fault, folks.

Now, I LOVE Fred. I really do. Look back at my playlists. I play his music every week. I’ve written articles about him, and I go see him whenever he’s anywhere near here. Just this week, I’m going to see him in Clearwater Manitoba at The Harvest Moon Festival on October 2, The West End Cultural Centre on October 3, and at The Gimli Rec Centre in Gimli, Manitoba on October 9. And I’m excited to see Fred that many times. I’m a Fredhead, and I’m fine with that.

Well, this Sunday, Fred will be in Winnipeg. For weeks, I’ve been working on getting him in the studio, and I thought I had it all lined up. All of the Ts were dotted and the Is were crossed (or something like that), or so I thought. Well, I have reason to doubt that old Fred isn’t going to make it. But there’s always hope, brothers and sisters. So, with that hope (but a strong sense of reality) in mind, I proudly present:

The Fred Eaglesmith “Will He or Won’t He” Show

We’ll hear classic Fred. New Fred. Fred tributes. Fred covers. Fred co-writes. Past Fred interviews.

And maybe, just maybe, if we’re really good Fredheads, we’ll hear from the man himself.

Will he be live in the studio?
Will he call?

Will I have to hear his answering machine message again?

Tune in this Sunday, October 3, 2-5 pm central to find out.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. For years now, I’ve been dying to see Willie P Bennett perform live. We see him all the time as part of Fred’s band, but I’ve never heard him sing one of his own amazing songs live. Well, with him in Winnipeg, I just HAD to try and get him in the studio, also, so I could finally see him perform. I’m doing everything I can to make that happen. Tune in…

Also in town on that SAME NIGHT!

Sarah Harmer

Josh Ritter

I can’t make any promises about Fred, but it looks like we do have one very exciting special guest all lined up. Opening for Sarah Harmer on Sunday at Pantages Playhouse Theatre will be American singer/songwriter Josh Ritter. This guy is a pretty big deal in The States and Europe, but is just starting to get noticed in Canada.

His new album Hello Starling should go a long way toward introducing this talented musician in our country. It’s a wonderful collection of beautiful story songs. I can’t wait to hear more from this guy after hearing this album. And it looks like I’ll get my chance.

Live in-studio visit from Josh Ritter

Of course, we’ll try to coax some live performances out of him, also.

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