Roots On The Rails, An Adventure By Train

Published: 2004-03-17
In days gone by the only way to travel on land was by horse wagon, or train. Travel by rail was (at the time) a fast and efficient way to go. It wasn't long before traveling troubadours took advantage of the rails and hopped a ride whenever the opportunity arose. Ridin' the rails reached a peak in the folk music era of the 60s with the likes of Arlo and Woody Guthrie.

In that same spirit Charlie Hunter created Roots on Rails – a trans-Canadian train ride filled with entertainment from folk and roots artists all along the way. Roots on Rails is a train ride from Vancouver to Toronto and another ride from Toronto to Vancouver. Each trip is a four day ride across the beautiful Canadian landscape with musical performances each night. Fred Eaglesmith and his band are the musical hosts for the trip, but the professional talent isn't the only musical entertainment. Often singing circles and jam sessions arise after the stage lights have been extinguished. The train ride can only accommodate 65 passengers on each trip. Even at $2325.00, tickets for Roots on Rails sell out quickly as long as Fred Eaglesmith's loyal fans – known as Fredheads – are around.

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For fans who are not able to take the trip the Roots on Rails musicians put on a concert at each end of the journey. The Toronto show will be held at Club 279 on April 5. Joining Fred Eaglesmith on the Toronto to Vancouver Roots on Rails trip are Willie P. Bennett, Roger Marin, Washboard Hank (a human washboard), Billy Watt, The Corb Lund Band. Ian Tamblyn, D.Rangers, Linda McRae and Joe Stacey.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



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