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Corb Lund keen to come back north
Corb Lund likes the desert and dirt bikes.
The lead singer songwriter who grew up in southern Alberta says he can write songs just about anywhere – even in the bright lights and bustling activity of a big city like Las Vegas.
“Two summers ago, I lived in Vegas for a few months,” he said in an interview with the Free Press. “If it’s time for me to write [new songs], I can write just about anywhere. So sometimes I just take off and do that. I play quite a bit a lot of cards anyway but I played even more there. I was playing in one of the World Series poker events – and writing music at the same time (between events). It was fun.”
Losin’ Lately Gambler came from time spent with his poker playing crowd. But Lund also likes a little solitude.
“I really like the desert. I had a little dirt bike that I was getting around on in [Vegas.] You can go a mile out of the city and find yourself by the desert, so I spent a lot of time there on my bike and found it really interesting.”
And while Prince George may be small town northern B.C., Lund is looking forward to getting on stage at the CN Centre May 9. He laughs when told the weather here has been great
“That’s good to hear,” he said. “I always like getting there. For the past 20 years, B.C. has been really good to me.”
Lund, who began with the group The Smalls and later pooled talents with his members of the Hurtin’ Albertans, has won numerous awards for his music, mostly a mix of country, folk, indie, and bluegrass. He’s a Juno Award winner, he’s won 11 CCMA (Canadian Country Music Awards) awards including seven Roots Artist of the Year awards. His record Cabin Fever debuted at Number 1 on the Canadian Billboard beating out One Direction and Justin Bieber.
He’s headlined the Edmonton Folk Festival and has performed five sold-out shows with Ian Tyson during the 200 Years of Canadian Cowboys during the Calgary Stampede.
Has the rise in this business been fast and furious? Does it surprise him where he is today? Lund says he’s never really stopped to think about it.
“I don’t dwell on it. You’re thinking about your next record a lot. We got lots of radio play even five years ago which has been great. But it feels to me like the last three or four years have been more artistically rich. I’ve done a lot of interesting things in the last few years that are sort of outside what I’ve always done, The new record is a little different, it’s an acoustic record.”
Some things remain the same.
“We [he and band members Kurt Ciesla (bass), Grant Siemens (guitar, other strings), and Brady Valgardson (drums)] are still doing the regular shows and everything but in addition to that we are all doing a lot of different things. It’s been an interesting last few years, it seems like it’s been a natural growth. It’s kind of cool.”
Besides his passion for writing and performing live music, Lund also has a penchant for collecting antique pistols and riding motorcycles.
How did that get started?
“I’m naturally curious I think and I’m also kind of a history, nostalgic nut,” said Lund. “I like old stuff, old music, old clothing, old stories. I’m always been intrigued by things like that. I used to listen to old Marty Robbins records when I was a kid so I guess I got interested that way.”
What can fans expect at the CN Centre May 9 show?
“It’s different show every night,” said Lund. “We don’t use a set list. We’ve got seven albums of stuff and we take a lot of requests too. We definitely do a bunch of songs off the new record and hit all the highlights. But lately we’ve pulling out a lot of old, obscure records lately too.”
Lund likes to spice it up a bit, he says.
“I think I’d die of boredom if I had to do the same songs every night. We put out all the big ones every night for sure ...I’m lucky my band is very good and they’re very versatile too.”
How did the Hurtin’ Albertans get its name?
Lund laughs and says the name just stuck, “like a hangover.”
Corb Lund plays CN Centre on May 9. Tickets are at all Ticketmaster locations including the CN Centre box office.