Canadian troubadour Fred Eaglesmith and popular Nashville singer-songwriter Kevin Welch will perform return concerts in Melbourne in spring.

Eaglesmith, 46, is one of nine children of a minister whose family lost their Ontario farm when Fred was 15.

The singer, who sleeps with a guitar by a his bed for instant access to dream song ideas, is double billed with Kasey Chambers at her Palais concerts on August 28 and 29.
Eaglesmith he will also do his own shows at the Corner Hotel, Richmond, and Cornish Arms, Brunswick, in early September.

Fred debuted at the Corner with Jim Lauderdale, Kim Richey, Jason McCoy and Audrey Auld in January, 2002, and returned there this year.

Fred is making his third Australian tour to promote his 12th album 'Balin,' released here on Tasmanian born singer-songwriter Audrey's 'Reckless Records.'

The latter day farmer and singer appeared in the rare 'mockumentary' called 'Return To Nowhere' about an outlaw returning to his home town.

His songs have been cut here by Catherine Britt, Audrey Auld, Kasey Chambers and her dad Bill and international acts diverse as 'The Cowboy Junkies' and Dar Williams.
'Drive-In Movie' - covered by Newcastle born Britt on her debut disc 'Dusty Smiles And Heartbreak Cures' - was the title track of his 1996 album.

He also wrote Chris Knight's second album title track 'A Pretty Good Guy' with Chris who lives in a trailer on 40 acres near Slaughters, Kentucky.

Eaglesmith was once wed to fellow Canadian singer Lynn Miles with whom he wrote the tune 'Ordinary Guy.'

The seasoned singer is also the subject of two tribute discs featuring international artists and Aussie performers Kasey and Bill Chambers and Audrey.


Acclaimed singer-songwriter Kevin Welch returns here in October-November for his fifth Australian tour since debuting with New York born Kieran Kane.

Welch, born in California and raised in Oklahoma, owns indie Dead Reckoning Records with Kane with whom he cut a live CD at the now defunct Continental Café in Prahran in 1999.

But this time Kevin, 48 and on the road since he was 17, will tour with Sydney band 'The Flood' with whom he played at the Gympie Muster in 2002.

Welch is touring to promote a follow-up album to his seventh disc 'The Millionaire' that he cut with Scandinavian band 'The Danes.' The singer returns to the Corner Hotel, Richmond, on October 31 and also plays 'Cornish Arms' in Brunswick and Loxley Winery.

Promoter Rob Hall is seeking another rural or regional concert to enable Welch to cater for fans living outside the city limits. Former Nu Country treasurer Kip Karpik has been approached to provide photos of the singer for a live DVD recorded at Sydney's 'Basement' venue.

Karpik's pix of Kinky Friedman, Billy Joe Shaver, Little Jewford, Washington Ratso and Jesse Taylor were used on their 'Live Down Under' disc also cut at The Basement.
Welch's songs have been recorded by artists diverse as Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Moe Bandy, Gary Allan, Ricky Skaggs, The Judds and the late Roger Miller and Waylon Jennings.

Ironically, Kevin was about to produce an album by veteran outlaw Waylon when he died at 64 on February 13, 2002.

"We didn't really think Waylon was ever gonna die," Welch told his captive Corner Hotel audience in Richmond during his last tour. "Billy Joe Shaver was here in Australia when Waylon died. He was a great friend of Waylon. Waylon was a real badass. It wasn't something a newspaper made up. He really was a badass."

Waylon was also a performer with eclectic and discerning taste as Welch proved when he performed 'Untitled Waltz' - one of his historic originals cut by Jennings.
"Waylon's album was going to be a really cool record," says Welch who returns to the Corner Hotel on October 31.

"I was going to bring some of my Danish friends, The Danes, who played on my new album 'The Millionaire.' He had some really cool Waylon songs and a bunch of mine. We were pretty excited about that. It was a real shame but least I got to hang out with him."

But Welch is finding solace from Oklahoma superstar Garth Brooks who rewrote and recorded 'Pushin' Up Daisies' as a tribute to his dead mother - country singer Colleen Carroll - for his latest big selling album 'Scarecrow'.

"Garth was kind enough to call my publisher and ask him for songs," Welch said, "we sent him about 30 songs. Garth and producer Allen Reynolds looked at over 5,000 songs. It's unique for me to allow lyric changes but I thought his motive was really clean. The song had a new function at that point. I also thought he did a good job."
The title track of Welch's new album was written to his partner - Norwegian singer Claudia Scott.

But it was equally relevant to Wyoming reared rodeo rider-singer Chris LeDoux - a 35 album veteran, now celebrating a successful liver transplant at the age of 54.
"I don't really know Chris but from what I do know I'll like the guy if I get a chance to meet him," says Welch, "I like his version of Millionaire. It's ironic that Garth offered to give Chris a chunk of his liver when he became ill."

Check back here for more details of the Eaglesmith and Welch tours and others including Don Williams, Jason Ringenberg and major national artists.


The Dixie Chicks will also add an extra gig at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne - September 29 - after rapid response to their headline grabbing TV exposure.
The Chicks, touring with a U.S. rock band and award winning Melinda Schneider as supports, have also earned a column by singing Texan crime novelist Kinky Friedman in the July issue of Texas Monthly.

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Kinky Friedman and Little Jewford are tipped to return to Australia for his sixth tour in January-February, 2004.

By then The Kinkster will have 16th crime novel 'The Mystery Of The Missing Puppet Head' available here through Penguin.

Friedman, now the subject of two biographies at the ripe young age of 58, hosted his Melbourne biographer Melita Granger as a 'house pest' at his Echo Hill Ranch at Medina in the Texas Hill Country.

He also took her to his other homes in Austin and Greenwich Village and introduced her to a vast variety of 'Kerrverts' in hill country HQ Kerrville.

More later as Melita polishes her two years of research and photos into hard copy for her publisher.

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