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Corb Lund|El Viejo

El Viejo

Corb Lund

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Since forming his own band in 1995, Canadian singer-songwriter Corb Lund has built a career that leans cowboy but lets you know there's more to him than simple songs of the Old West. Part of a cowboy music movement that included pals Ramblin' Jack Elliott and the late Ian Tyson, Lund also played bass in a metal band The Smalls. His diverse tastes account for the opening track "The Cardplayers," which mixes bluegrass instrumentation with a klezmer beat and arrangement. Its lyrics have a decidedly urban edge: "Complaints have been lodged by respectable locals/ We've poisoned their usual grind/ A more noble group dressed in hoodies and sunglasses/ You would be hard pressed to find." His talents as a lyricist are notable in "I Had it All," where he sketches a colorful autobiographical portrait in four lines: "A cowboy past and speed metal future/ Have a nice night and a good day to you, sir/ Got an education, took some graduate courses/ On the insides of bars and the outsides of horses."

Wisely mindful that he also needs to make some effort to attract mainstream country fans, there's "Redneck Rehab" which takes the mind-altering specifics a step further than the usual pickup trucks and whiskey move: "Didn't waste none of my time on liquor/ I climbed on a pony a whole lot quicker/ Stepped on coke and bathtub crank/ Prescription pills and purple drank." Lund is ably supported by his veteran trio of guitarist Grant Siemens (who fills "The Cardplayers" with convincing mandolin work), bassist Sean Burns and drummer Lyle Molzan. The tunes are simple and sturdy and he is expert at singing his own clever lyrics, like those of closer "Old Familiar Drunken Feeling." With vocal support from The Southern Alberta Community Singers, he again makes clear that while he may be country, he's also a citizen of the modern world who, in this case, has altered his consciousness with marijuana edibles: "It's only noon, I'll be fine, showtime ain't till nine, I chewed and I told myself/ But as the day wore on and on and on it all went rapidly to hell." In the film Urban Cowboy John Travolta once asserted, "All cowboys ain't dumb. Some of 'em got smarts real good." Corb Lund is living proof. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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El Viejo

Corb Lund

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1
The Cardplayers
00:03:19
2
I Had It All Explicit
00:03:21
3
Was Fort Worth Worth It?
00:03:11
4
Out On a Win
00:02:27
5
Redneck Rehab
00:03:09
6
El Viejo (for Ian)
00:04:11
7
When the Game Gets Hot
00:02:38
8
Girl With the Stratocaster
00:02:57
9
It Takes Practice
00:02:38
10
Insha’Allah
00:03:42
11
Old Familiar Drunken Feeling
00:05:08

Album review

Since forming his own band in 1995, Canadian singer-songwriter Corb Lund has built a career that leans cowboy but lets you know there's more to him than simple songs of the Old West. Part of a cowboy music movement that included pals Ramblin' Jack Elliott and the late Ian Tyson, Lund also played bass in a metal band The Smalls. His diverse tastes account for the opening track "The Cardplayers," which mixes bluegrass instrumentation with a klezmer beat and arrangement. Its lyrics have a decidedly urban edge: "Complaints have been lodged by respectable locals/ We've poisoned their usual grind/ A more noble group dressed in hoodies and sunglasses/ You would be hard pressed to find." His talents as a lyricist are notable in "I Had it All," where he sketches a colorful autobiographical portrait in four lines: "A cowboy past and speed metal future/ Have a nice night and a good day to you, sir/ Got an education, took some graduate courses/ On the insides of bars and the outsides of horses."

Wisely mindful that he also needs to make some effort to attract mainstream country fans, there's "Redneck Rehab" which takes the mind-altering specifics a step further than the usual pickup trucks and whiskey move: "Didn't waste none of my time on liquor/ I climbed on a pony a whole lot quicker/ Stepped on coke and bathtub crank/ Prescription pills and purple drank." Lund is ably supported by his veteran trio of guitarist Grant Siemens (who fills "The Cardplayers" with convincing mandolin work), bassist Sean Burns and drummer Lyle Molzan. The tunes are simple and sturdy and he is expert at singing his own clever lyrics, like those of closer "Old Familiar Drunken Feeling." With vocal support from The Southern Alberta Community Singers, he again makes clear that while he may be country, he's also a citizen of the modern world who, in this case, has altered his consciousness with marijuana edibles: "It's only noon, I'll be fine, showtime ain't till nine, I chewed and I told myself/ But as the day wore on and on and on it all went rapidly to hell." In the film Urban Cowboy John Travolta once asserted, "All cowboys ain't dumb. Some of 'em got smarts real good." Corb Lund is living proof. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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