Modern Alberta cowboy Corb Lund is at it again with his seventh full-length studio album, Cabin Fever. Fresh on the heels of a string of shows during the 100th annual Calgary Stampede comes a truthful record that documents some heavy events over the couple years of the singer’s life.
After Lund, his longtime girlfriend, and his favorite uncle finished building a remote hideaway cabin in the woods outside Edmonton, his relationship promptly crumbled and his uncle passed away. The cabin became a solitary place for the veteran country musician to reflect and develop a serious case of the aforementioned album title. Between breaks for touring, the ideas began to flow and the resulting songs were recorded live off the floor, giving a more honest feel to the process.
The album starts deep and dirty with “Gettin’ Down On The Mountain”’ and its heavy riffage, signaling back to some of Lund’s earlier material as it chugs along. “Dig Gravedigger Dig” follows suit with a stomp and clap backbeat, chunky guitars and distorted harmonica paying tribute to multi-instrumentalist Grant Siemens’ brother’s profession.
There lies Lund’s real strength, as a consummate storyteller that keeps you hooked on his charming tales that easily relate to the layman, rather than trying to pass himself off as some kind of exquisite poet. “Bible On The Dash” keeps the stories coming and is definitely the winning track on this album. Featuring veteran Texas bluesman Hayes Carll playing counterpart on this duet, they tell a tale of a pair of musicians passing themselves off as good Christian boys in order to avoid trouble while crossing the border.
He’s got all his bases covered on Cabin Fever, from drinking songs (“Drink It Like You Mean It” and “Pour ‘Em Kinda Strong”), to classic country (“Cows Around” and “If You Ain’t Been Bucked Off”), and even an homage to his punk rock days in The Smalls with “The Gothest Girl I Can”.
Of course, the contributions of his band cannot be overstated, as they truly bring the songs to life with their excellent playing on every track. Siemens’ lead, slide guitar, and banjo work add the sparkle, while Kurt Ciesla’s spot-on upright bass and Brady Valgardson’s tight drumming anchor the album from start to finish.
Corb Lund has followed in the footsteps of great country storytellers like Stompin’ Tom Connors and Ian Tyson for years now, and with Cabin Fever, he just may have cemented himself as their successor.
Download the lead track “Getting’ Down On The Mountain” for free here and check out the video below: