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Americana Canadian Style: Corb Lund
by Keith Howerton; photo by Sandy Nicholson
Corb LundCorb Lund is a name that most Canadian fans of genuine country music will immediately recognize. In Texas and other western states Fred Eaglesmith is the more established and recognizable Canadian performer, but even though Corb is younger, his resume and repertoire is becoming as large and influential as Fred’s. Both Corb and Fred represent the Canadian connection to a style of genuine country and roots music that is most commonly referred to as Americana. It makes sense that some great songwriters and performers would come from the western Canadian providences, and fit squarely into the Americana genre. After all, much of western Canadian culture is closer to the style of the Western United States than it is the eastern provinces. The same could be said for the western United States in relation to their eastern cousins.

In many ways, Corb is to Canada what Robert Earl Keen is to Texas. His record sales number over 50,000 copies each for his last two projects. They both went gold by Canadian standards. By comparison, only two or three of the top selling Texas acts sell records in those numbers. He also has a huge live show following in Canada and regularly sells out large capacity venues. His songs are largely about western Canadian lifestyle. In both the serious and humorous tunes, Corb draws out the emotions and feelings of everyday life in rural Canada in the same way that Keen is able to strike a chord in Texas.

Lund is not a newbie to music or performing. Like Robert Earl Keen he is a veteran of music and the stage and like many performers he is hitting his stride at the middle age of 36. For 22 years, he has performed and written songs. Corb started his musical career in an “indie” rock band called “The Smalls” in mid-1980s at the age of 14. Corb describes the band as a modern 80s and 90s “Black Sabbath.” The band performed and toured together for 10 years with the last five being the most influential when they recorded three records from 1992 to 1995.

In the mid-90s he began to branch out into the Americana brand of country and formed the Corb Lund Band. As a country artist, Corb has recorded five records with one of them having some overlap in time with his work with “The Smalls.” His latest project titled, “Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer” was recorded in Nashville and produced by veteran producer and musician Harry Stintson who is also the drummer with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. Harry has also worked with many major artists including Steve Earle and Peter Frampton. “Highland Steer” won album of the year at the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2006.

Lund maintains a worldwide tour schedule that includes Europe and Australia with over 200 dates per year. In the past 24 months, the band has been on the road for about 19. In Canada Corb regularly sells out venues of 2000 or more all over the country. He comes to Texas at least twice per year to play a series of shows and often tours with his friend Hayes Carll as an opening act. In Canada Corb returns the favor and Hayes plays in support of Corb at shows. Recently Corb played Hayes’ inaugural festival in Galveston called the “Stinerree fest.” “Stinerree” according to Hayes is how the folks on the Texas coast pronounce-Stingray.

Corb Lund is a superb songwriter with a roots style that transcends and connects the western lifestyle of North America with fans all over the world. His next show in Texas is the Country Thunder festival in Waxahachie later this month. Texans and Texas music fans have not heard the last of Corb Lund and that is a good thing.

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