Frederick John Elgersma (born July 9, 1957), known by the stage name Fred Eaglesmith, is a Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter, one of nine children raised by a farming family in rural Southern Ontario. As a teenager Eaglesmith hopped a freight train out to Western Canada, and began writing songs and performing. He is known for writing songs about machines or vehicles, including songs about trains, tractors, trucks, cars, and engines. Rural life, dogs, guns, drinking and farming/ranching are other common themes. Many of his songs are about failing farms and small businesses. Down and out characters dealing with loss of love or livelihood, and quirky rural folk also populate his songs. His songwriting uses many of the techniques of short story writing, including unreliable narrators, surprise endings, and plot twists. Eaglesmith's band is known both as The Flying Squirrels or The Flathead Noodlers, switching the name to represent different styles of music. The Flathead Noodlers play bluegrass, while the Flying Squirrels play more folk and rock. An early incarnation of the band was known as The Smokin' Losers. A typical Fred Eaglesmith show includes his music set between several lengthy between-song comic monologues by Eaglesmith. Topics in the past have included stories about crossing the U.S./Canada border, Newfoundlanders, and some friends from an Indian reserve. His fans are known as "Fredheads", a nod to deadheads, who followed The Grateful Dead. He is known to tour extensivley throughout Canada and the U.S.