Corb Lund “El Viejo”

New West, 2024

All aboard for some redneck rehabilitation.

artwork for Corb Lund album "El Viejo"Returning with his first new album of original material since the critically acclaimed “Agricultural Tragic”, Corb Lund brings us “El Viejo”. Straight from the opener this album feels like it actually is musician friends sat around having a great time. Recorded completely at home in Lethbridge, Alberta in his living room with the band “The Hurtin’ Albertans”, Lund has put together a quality collection of songs. As Lund himself said “It was just a few of us in my house. No studio. No outside producer. No adults in the room. No stress.”

The common theme throughout the album is one of the outlaw gambler. The collection is all acoustic with some of the songs captured in one take. Lund says “There’s not a single electric instrument on the whole thing, just acoustic sounds and singing. In terms of having a vision, this is a record I’ve had in my sights for a while and it came out exactly how I’d hoped. We cut all the songs live in the same room with lots of bleed. A bunch of the songs we captured in one take, first time through.

Out On a Win‘ tells the tale of an ageing boxer who wishes to end his career with one last win, just like us all while Lund treads a line between outlaw country, western and indie folk with a touch of the lounge torch singer on ‘Insha’Allah‘. The title track, ‘El Viejo‘ is a tribute to Lund’s late friend and mentor, the Canadian songwriter Ian Tyson who passed away in December 2022. Beautifully written and played.

Redneck Rehab‘ tells the tale of homemade rehabilitation when an expensive “long vacation at Betty Ford” is out of reach, Lund sings “I gotta kick speed before daddy gets back”. The guitar riff and build up adds to the urgency but look out for the clever kicker at the end. There is sound gambling advice on the track ‘The Games Gets Hot‘ where Lund sings “Don’t get greedy and you won’t get caught, you won’t get rich but you won’t get shot, you gotta keep your cool when the games get hot”.

The album ends with what will no doubt be a fan favourite when played live. It tells the true story of how Lund tried recently legalised edible cannabis and found it wasn’t for him. Only good old cowboy ‘Pendleton‘ whiskey would cure the paranoid feeling giving him that “Old familiar Drunken Feeling”. Check out the video for the full story.

Corb Lund is well worth catching a show, but failing that, this album will do nicely.

 

7/10
7/10

About Andy Short 10 Articles
You would think with all the music I listen to I would be able to write a song but lyrically I get nowhere near some of the lines I've listened to. Maybe one day but until then I will keep on listening.
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