Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Fred Eaglesmith

  • Ralph's Last Show [Signature Sounds, 2001] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Ralph's Last Show [Signature Sounds, 2001]
In the studio, musicianship renders this Canadian singer-songwriter one more rough-hewn troubadour with his heart pinned firmly to his hollow-body. On this live double, his need to shout over bar talk and penetrate the sloppy strum-and-thrum of his drumless good-enough-for-folk-rock band combines happily with the best-of effect, resulting in a raucous celebration of male chauvinism Montgomery Gentry should only envy--for its powers of observation, class solidarity, and laugh lines. The fast hard ones are all great, and they outnumber the medium-tempo corny ones, which bottom out at tolerable and memorably honor migrant workers and a good dog. Not counting the song that goes, "When exactly did we become white trash," my three favorite fast ones are all about souped-up gas guzzlers, the finest of which drives up to an old-age home. Never again do I expect to enjoy an album that begins and ends with songs about trains. Then again, I never expected to enjoy this one. A-