If you haven’t heard of Corb Lund & his backup band the Hurtin’ Albertans, don’t worry! There is a good reason – he is not a commercial artist but rather a roots & country musician who sings what he wants & what he loves and not to get on tv. However, he does have a loyal following who attends each & every concert that they can. 5 Dollar Bill was released in 2002 and is one of his best albums. It starts off with the title track, 5 Dollar Bill – a bouncy, cleverly-written song about running whiskey to the U.S. during prohibition. You’re hooked by the first line. By the time the band kicks in, you’re dancing. He mixes humour in his lyrics about a time long gone by. There’s a ballad about his native Alberta, Short Native Grasses & the ominously sounding No Roads Here, which sounds as if it could easily fit into the soundtrack of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly or any one of those old Clint Eastwood westerns. I especially love the acoustic riff in the intro of this song.
Heavy And I’m Leaving is anther soulfull ballad that Corb does true justice too with his singing. Then you get a bar anthemn with Time To Switch To Whiskey, with it’s catchy lyrics and chorus (“It’s time to switch to whiskey, we’ve been drinking beer all night”) & the blue collar Roughest Neck Around, a homage to the hard working oil riggers of Alberta. Shine Up My Boots is a wishful thinking song about a young worker, in probably an era gone by, who goes into town on his day off and thinks of what all he can do with $20 that he can afford to spend. He thinks of gambling, getting rich, marrying a pretty woman, buying a ranch with horses but in the end figures that he would probably just drink that money away.
Daughter Don’t You Marry No Guitar Picker is about a father giving his daughter advice on the kind of person to or not to marry. Another country / rodeo ballad is Buckin’ Horse Rider about a cowboy at the twilight of his life. She Won’t Come To Me is a song about a horse that won’t come to people who don’t appreciate life (you could exchange the horse with a woman or happiness). Expectation and the Blues & Apocalyptic Modified Blues are just that – country blues songs that Lund & his band do so well.
So what are ya waiting for! Grab your whiskey or your beer and listen to this awesome album.
Song for the day – “5 Dollar Bill” – CORB LUND