Yin and yang; tin and twang. Vignettes both rural and urban, innocent and experienced — these dichotomies define Corb Lund’s career. His chronicles of bootleggers, horse soldiers, and range riders shake dust from historical moments, while images of tattooed-goth girls, interprovincial breakups, and cheeky washed-up rock stars are comfortably modern. The musical styles which accompany these songs grow wider and wilder with each album. For Lund, born into a Southern Alberta ranching family and later moving to Edmonton to study music, these contrasts are natural. After creating punk-metal band the smalls in 1989, Lund released his first solo album in 1995. While his whiskey-worshipping, rollicking melodies and often humorous sing-along story-songs earned a loyal roadhouse following, Lund can fearlessly lay a bare line on the table and let it breathe, and his spare, image-laden lyrics are a trademark that attracts a more cerebral audience as well. His long-term virtuoso band, The Hurtin’ Albertans, appeals to both factions. At his best, Lund seamlessly weaves past into present, without mythologizing western life; his tales — whether about losing the family farm, or stripping the candy-coating from the urban experience — are much more grit than mist.
Biography by Mary-Lynn Wardle