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Fred Eaglesmith: Milly's Cafe

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Fred Eaglesmith has been a favorite of mine since I first heard him nearly a decade ago. His new release, Milly's Cafe, is filled with the same kinds of blue-collar folksy alt-country songs that have won his music many critical raves. The high point of this CD is easily "Mrs. Hank Williams." This is a perfect tribute to musicians' wives everywhere and is destined to become a fan favorite like "Spookin' the Horses" or "Alcohol and Pills" from his earlier releases. Like those songs--and nearly everything he writes--there's an element of rich sadness that matches his languid melodies and road-weary vocals. Eaglesmith often writes about the trials of everyday life among the less privileged in our society. The title song is a great story within a story within a song. In less than six minutes, he tells what could become a great novel or classic movie.

Eaglesmith's most ardent fans--Fredheads­--will follow him to Boise if this Canadian singer-songwriter ever makes it here. If so, you'll want to be there with them. To learn why, check out Milly's Cafe, for a modest taste of his songwriting genius.

--Curt Nichols