by Jaz Bowens
When some people think of country music they think of tumbleweeds, the old west and a dusty rural road that leads to a rickety ranch in Texas or the shining lights of Nashville, Tennessee. Actually, that is the scene that popped into my mind whenever I thought of country music. However, Corb Lund changed my flawed perception when he gave That Music Mag a fun, light-hearted and informative interview about his life, music, and his current album Cabin Fever.
Corb Lund and his band, The Hurtin’ Albertans, originated from the province of Alberta in western Canada. Lund had a lot of inspiration from his family (especially his grandfathers), his environment, and life in general growing up on his family’s ranch a few miles from the US/ Canadian border.
“Both of my grandfathers were cattle ranchers in the Rocky Mountains, so the first music I heard was old cowboy ballads from 100 years ago,” Lund says. “Getting started was difficult, actually. I’m not a natural singer or guitar player, but I think I’m a natural songwriter.”
A lot of his songs are about his family, and with creative license he has transformed their stories into the music that many have grown to love.”There were a lot of stories I heard growing up,” he laughs. “Our family farm is about five miles north of the Montana border so, in the 1920s, there was a period where alcohol was illegal in the U.S. but legal in Canada. My grandfather said on the weekends he would take whiskey and sell it to the cowboys at the border.”
The Hurtin’ Albertans have been with Corb Lund the whole way as they continue to climb charts and gain new fans with every single and album. They never disappoint and Lund is grateful for them. Their true friendship and love of playing music shines through in every performance.
“Playing on stage is the fun part,” Lund jokes. “Playing live shows is fun and we’ve done so many of them that we sort of have musical ESP. We just know each other very well. Playing live is the most fun, though.”
The guys were even featured in the movie Slither where the band performed “Gonna Shine Up My Boots”.
“We got the role because the director somehow got a hold of one of my records and liked it,” Lund says. “I don’t know If I’ll be in another movie role again, but I think its fun. I’ve been in about 20 music videos so I know what it’s like to hang around on set, bored.”
Cabin Fever was released in August of 2012 and it has been on the top of many charts both in Canada and America. It made the U.S. Billboard’s Top Country album list and Billboard’s Top Heatseekers list. It also reached #1 on Canadian Album Charts. As a result, Lund and his band are currently on tour in U.S and Canadian cities.
That Mag wanted to know why this tour includes more stops than usual in America and why Lund thought this was the album to do it with. “This is our 7th record and a lot of people in America think this is our first record because, for some of our fans, this is the first time they have heard of us,” Lund explains. “People seem to like Cabin Fever and I’m actually in the process of writing another one.”
Since they started touring in America years ago it is understandable that they are able to notice differences in the two countries. One state that has always showed them love was Texas.
“Texas really embraced us from the start,” he says. “It’s sort of a underground country scene in Texas where they play music that’s a little more rough around the edges and not polished like what they play on the radio. We’ve always done pretty good in New York and D.C. as well. We played Philly once, but that was many years ago. In Canada, since we are from there, we get bigger crowds and fans that are half basic country fans and half underground country fans. In America, they are usually all underground country fans. We play at a bunch of punk-rock bars and stuff which is pretty cool.”
One thing about Corb Lund is that his music is versatile. He doesn’t write about the same topics and he isn’t afraid to have fun with his music or take himself too seriously. Two songs off of Cabin Fever, “The Gothest Girl I Can”and “September”, show just how versatile he really is. “”Gothest Girl” is just a joke,” he laughs. “I think goth girls are sexy, that’s all, but “September” is a song about a relationship break down I went though a couple years ago. Losing a girl to the big cities.”
Almost all of Corb Lund’s music has a story behind it and whether it makes you laugh or shed a tear, he always brings passion and his love for music into every performance, recording and album he does.
Corb Lund and The Hurtin’ Albertans will be in Wilmington, DE at World Live Cafe at the Queen on Nov. 23rd and in Washington, DC at Hill Country BBQ the following day. Jane Roser, a die-hard fan of Corb Lund and writer for That Music Magazine will be at his DC show cheering and having a blast. For more information about Corb Lund, his music, and his future tour locations check him out online.