Sunday To-Do: Corb Lund | Rock Candy

Sunday To-Do: Corb Lund

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CORB LUND
8 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.

This celebrated Albertan singer, like the Eli Young Band above, maintains hordes of dedicated fans without tapping into the mainstream pipe. Unlike them, he's no slick brand of twang-pop. Alt-country it ain't either. Corb Lund is a traditionalist, singing — sometimes yodeling — about the Civil War, whiskey, horses and his native Canada. He and his backing band, the Hurtin' Albertans, have more in common with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys than anything you'll see on GAC. And his voice is almost unsettlingly twang-free. For a purist, he's an odd bird, loved in Canada and criminally overlooked in America. Maybe it's because even the most enthusiastic champions of the Canuck cowboy are quick to admit his music takes time to click; he's a grower with albums of dusty prairie dirges that demand repeating. But songs like the gorgeous "The Truth Comes Out" and the talkin' shuffle of "Long Gone to Saskatchewan" are quick, slick entry points to a rich, addictive body of north-of-the-border country. And now, after making five albums that barely squeezed into American ears, Lund signed to New West Records, brought out his first U.S. release in "Losin' Lately Gambler" and now sits in the same roster as fellow purists Dwight Yoakam, Kris Kristofferson and Steve Earle. He's enormously literate, a gifted storyteller and a deceptively imaginative troubadour from the same vein as his new label mates. If there was any justice in an industry notoriously devoid of such things, ol' Corb would find little trouble translating the accolades and gold to stateside. If you're looking for real country, look no further.


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