CALGARY, AB, Canada — There are those artists who claim an affinity for their musical roots, but then reinvent them in ways that have scant bearing on the past. Others identify with the heartland but have no genuine stake in the actual environs. So when an artist like Corb Lund comes along and shares honesty and authenticity in a way that melds past with present, it’s indeed worthy of notice.
That’s the connection Lund carries with him as he embarks on a tour that takes him to nearly three dozen markets mostly in the Western U.S. early next year. Most of those stops will be in places where he finds there is common ground, both literally and spiritually.
“I feel a deep bond and shared roots with the audiences I perform for, especially out West,” Lund says. “Coming from a multi-generational ranching family from Alberta, Canada, and Utah before that, I relate closely to cowboy culture and its authenticity. It’s a part of the U.S. I especially enjoy touring as I feel very at home there.”
Lund is an award-winning, vintage country performer, who spent his twenties, interestingly, in an indie rock band. He embraces his rich and rustic western heritage with a style that’s unique, honest and resolute, while touching on a range of cowboy themes both past and present — from rough-and-tumble tales of lawless frontier saloons, to the sombre realities of running a modern family ranch. He sings about a life that he and his ancestors have lived themselves, paired with his quick-witted, wry observations of today’s world. As a result, his writing resonates emphatically with rural and urban audiences alike. It’s a classic sound with a twist, something of a rarity these days, but one that evokes the spirit of the American West, winning over appreciative audiences at rodeos, fairs, festivals and other events where tales of fearless explorers, determined homesteaders and committed cattle ranchers still holds a powerful sway.
Backed by his long-time honkytonk band, the Hurtin’ Albertans — Kurt Ciesla, bass; Grant Siemens, guitar; and Brady Valgardson, drums — Lund effectively amplifies those themes and fires up the crowds. It’s little wonder that the Vegas Seven noted, “Like Willie Nelson before them, they bring out the shit-kickers and hipsters in equal measure.”
“There aren’t many artists still making this kind of Western music,” Lund suggests. “Personally, I feel like I still have a real stake in it. That’s why I believe that the people that admire a vintage approach really appreciate what we do. And for us, it’s really gratifying to be able to perform it for them.”
In a very real sense then, Lund has become a true musical courier as far as that authenticity is concerned, a traditional troubadour who’s determined to keep that rugged and restless spirit alive.