by Scott Roos
Pictures by Scott and Deanna Roos
*Eaglespeaker performing at the Bassment in Saskatoon
It was almost exactly a year in the making but this past month, Saskatoon country rockers The North Sound were finally able to perform a series of album release shows for their critically acclaimed record As the Stars Explode. For his part, primary songwriter and frontman Forrest Eaglespeaker was able to make the most of the downtime away from performing to vigorously promote the record. It also gave him pause to reflect on why he truly loves music.
"There's two sides of my love for music to put it plainly. There's the creation side and then there's the fan side," begins Eaglespeaker. For his part, Eaglespeaker is not unlike many musicians out there. They grew up fans first and in turn were inspired by the music they loved to become performers themselves. "There's a part of me that obsesses about music. Whenever I find a band or artist or something that I love or that I connect with try to I find out everything about that person that I possibly can. Listening to music is like school for me. I learn how to write and I learn how to play and I learn how to sing from recordings of other artists, live performances of other artists, that's my school."
Eaglespeaker's student of the game approach is evident in the overall sound and style of The North Sound. They wear their influences on their sleeves. They clearly worship at the altars of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris as well as a wide swath of classic country rock artists. But, to Eaglespeaker, there's also an element of catharsis in his writing. His words and music are deeply personal to him. When he writes he reaches deep within himself.
"Creating music saved my life. I know that's kind of a cliche thing to say but it's very true. My creating and writing music has always been a mirror of my inner most thoughts that I wasn't able to bring up to the surface consciously. In a lot of ways it's like looking in a mirror," adds Eaglespeaker.
As a result of his words on As the Stars Explode, many have been inspired. With songs like 'This Land' and 'Wild Rose Country' it's hard not to be.
"Music: It connects people. It connects all of us. It connects people in such a vulnerable way and that's something that you just can't buy," Eaglespeaker concluded.
*Eaglespeaker sings his heart out on stage at the EA Rawlinson Centre as partner Nevada Freistadt looks on