Let other artists hop on the country-pop-folk train, Corb Lund is sticking to his guns and continuing to interpret country music in his own quirky, neo-traditional way.
“That’s why I’m in a van instead of a tour bus — because I’m not swayed by trends!” joked the singer/songwriter, who performs with his band The Hurtin’ Albertans on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre.
“That’s why my songs don’t get played on the radio!”
Kidding aside, Lund’s songs do get played — not only on CKUA and CBC, but also Red Deer’s KG Country, which he credits as being among the first in Alberta to spin his music.
He’s also been picking up praise from far-flung sources. Lund’s last album of original music, Cabin Fever, won raves from the New York Times and Washington Post, which called Lund “a revelation, laconic and scary smart, with a devil’s eye for details.”
It’s been four years since the release hit No. 1 in Canada and created a fan of Miranda Lambert, who invited Lund to open for her and Dierks Bentley. Lund finally released a follow up: Things That Can’t Be Undone.
It isn’t a grand departure from his alt-country style. But his veteran band members — bassist Kurt Ciesia, guitarist Grant Siemens, and drummer Brady Valgardson — are having more input into how the songs come together.
While Lund didn’t have a particular theme in mind, the deaths of several family members inspired him to write more introspectively.
Besides the heart-breaking Sunbeam, tunes such as S Lazy H also carry a melancholy tinge. Lund admitted, “I like those quieter kind of albums,” that lull listeners into a reflective mood.
As for fans who’ve come to expect laughs from Lund, he doesn’t disappoint. Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues is told with a dance-able rockabilly beat and silly/clever lyrics about a would-be star who has to crawl back to his factory job back after telling his boss to stick it.
The singer moved to Lethbridge from Edmonton several years ago to be closer to his family ranch at Cardston. After finishing up a string of concerts along the eastern U.S., he will embark on a tour of smaller centres throughout the Canadian Prairies.
Since he hasn’t played in Red Deer for many years, Lund is really looking forward to this concert. “It’s long overdue.”
Tickets are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.