Canadian Corb Lund and his band are something of a unique talent, precocious with throw back to outlaw days. As imagery of western life, pick-up trucks, cowboys, pot-bellied stoves, roping steers, sawdust floor beer joints and campfires under the stars out on the plains all come into view.
The above are mixed in a big ol’ melting pot as country (with fizz) meets folk, blues and modern day western lore. For artist Lund is of the Scott Miller, Robert Earl Keen, Hayes Carll (who joins Lund on ‘Bible On The Dash’) ilk as he puts the pedal to the metal and goes for broke. Real Americana, free-spirited but finely tempered as he sings ‘bout a two-night stand in Tulsa, and how himself and band hit the road feeling as cool as Crosby, Stills and Nash/overflowin’ with spirit and the bible on the dash. It is wonderful freewheeling finely tuned fare. Talking of ‘tuned’ ‘Mein Deutsches Motarrad’ with a keenly driven beat and splendid acoustic (or electric depending which cd you are listening; since the release is a double album, one acoustic and the other electric) guitar playing.
Lund’s spontaneous attitude to his work comes over fresh as the finest homegrown garden produce, plus it is so varied. You never know what is coming next. As he breezes from the rockabilly ‘The Gothest Girl I Can’, rock country fashioned ‘Dig Gravedigger Dig’ (c/w slide guitar) that speaks of how he asks guy is he haunted by souls? But he reckons he’s buried them too. As for ‘September’ it speaks of how old man winter is close at hand after summer glows all too briefly. While with a song entitled ‘Cows Around’ it is of no surprise that he reverts to a spot of western swing, prior to the likes of the pedal steel fuelled ‘Drink It Like You Mean It’ and reflective ‘One left In The Chamber’ before bowing out with a guitar jangling (electric) ‘Pour ‘Em Kinda Strong’. Fantastic stuff. Of the two versions I particularly enjoy listening to the acoustic version (featuring banjo best) as he speaks of him swinging on the wrong end of a rope.
Special mention must go out to Lund’s band, The Hurtin’ Albertans Kurt Cielsa (double bass), Brady Valgardson (drums), Grant Siemens (acoustic, electric, slide, pedal steel guitar, banjo, mandolin) with Lund on acoustic guitar. Cabin Fever is Corb’s second album for New West Records (Losin’ Lately Gambler being his first) and I expect many more to follow. As his fame spreads south because country, Americana —whatever you like to call it needs this guy at the forefront of what is happening because not only is he talented, but his approach to music most refreshing. He could just as easily be from Austin, Tx and he would mop up there too. You had better believe it.
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