CORB LUND – CABIN FEVER
2012 – New West
Review written by Paul Hinkley Smith.
I must confess to not having heard a Corb Lund Album since 2006’s Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer. His third, Five Dollar Bill was the first one I heard and released in 2002. It was on pretty heavy rotation from me for a good long while when it was first released. Having met him at gigs he’s a genuine good bloke as well and that does make a difference when you are considering someone’s output - even if perhaps it shouldn’t. This current release - the seventh, is doing really well. The album is already a triple number 1 in his native Canada hitting the top spot for overall sales, digital sales and the Country chart.
If you have checked out a Corb Lund album before then this one is going to offer few surprises but I do not mean that to sound in any way derogatory. There is no reason to change a winning
formula or successful strategy. I am a big fan of stories told through songs. A lot of my favourite artists are those I love as much for their ability to spin a good yarn as for the music. Corb has always had the great ability of being able to make a good story sound good and there is a wealth of those on this album. He has his favourite subjects for sure – cowboying, drinking, being on the road -
but he has his own take on all of those things which always comes through. Musically he and the band are quite happy moving from country rock on to a rockabilly sound, from there to more traditional folk ballads via a bit of Western swing and of course throwing a yodel into the mix.
There is always a certain humour that comes across too, best highlighted on this offering perhaps by Cows Aroundwhich name-checks more breeds of cow then I even knew existed. It might sound corny done by somebody else, but when you know that it is written by someone who grew up on a farm and won his first rodeo trophy at an age when most city kids haven’t ridden anything scarier than a bicycle it works.
This album was recorded live with no overdubs which gives it a great feel, a kind of band in your living room experience when you listen. The Hurtin’Albertans has always sounded like a great
name for a band before the even play a note anyway. There is a special edition of this available with acoustic versions of all the tracks too, again recorded live. Unfortunately I didn’t get a copy of
that to review. Knowing how good the band can sound live on any stage I am seriously considering parting with the money necessary to check that out.