By Jof Owen
“There ain’t nuthin’ better than a little adventure just to shore up band morale,” sings Corb Lund on his latest single. At least until the singer does “a few too many milligrams of mis-adventuring” that is.
"It’s an all too accurate account of being way too high on a gummy bear before a show in Colorado many years ago and having to drink my way out of it,” the singer explains about the inspiration behind his new single. “It was all totally above board, the state had just legalized it, so it was kind of a novelty field trip for the band to visit the shiny new dispensary”.
“Some songs are 'based on truth' but this happened EXACTLY as I sing it,” he continues. “Turns out weed ain't my thing. Eating it is even worse, it lasts forever”.
“Fronting a band can occasionally be terrifying at the best of times, doing it high as a kite and super paranoid was hell on earth”, he remembers. “When I started feeling like myself again in the second set after a bunch of cowboy whiskey, I confessed to the audience what had happened and offered them all their money back! No one took me up on it”.
‘Old Familiar Drunken Feeling’ is premiering exclusively on Holler below.
‘Old Familiar Drunken Feeling’ is taken from Corb Lund’s forthcoming album, El Viejo, due out on New West Records next February. The album pays tribute to Lund’s late friend and mentor Ian Tyson, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter who passed away last December.
“He did his own thing, had his own sound and was never a person who chased trends,” Lund says. “He was a close friend of the band, and he clued me into the fact that cowboy stuff, including the music, translates south of the border".
“The West is the West,” Lund says. “Ian’s writing partner and our mutual friend, Tom Russell, used to call him ‘El Viejo', meaning ‘the old one’ or ‘the wise one’. His death was a big loss for everybody - this record is in honor of my friend, Ian Tyson - El Viejo".
The album is also a testament to that old outlaw tradition of stripping all the bullshit away and just letting the tape roll - simply capturing a moment in time with a room full of players and friends who’ve known each other long enough to know what matters and what doesn’t.
“There’s not a single electric instrument on the whole thing, just acoustic sounds and singing”, Lund says. “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”.
Within Lund’s forthcoming 11-song LP lies a common theme - possibly even a character thread - of the gambler; the outlaw who roams from place-to-place with no direction home, except for an unrelenting journey to seek out what lies just beyond the unknown horizon.
“It’s a lot of minor keys and gambling songs, is what it is,” Lund says in a matter-of-fact tone. “It was just a few of us in my house. No studio. No outside producer. No adults in the room. No stress. I put a ton of work into the stuff beforehand and that made the band arrangement stuff a lot of fun to work out”.
Gathering around his living room, Lund and his band tapped into his most cherished musical influences of acoustic tone and lyrical aptitude - Marty Robbins, Kris Kristofferson, Bobbie Gentry, Jerry Reed – coming up with something intimate and true and rarely captured in country music these days.
“Since I was 10 years old, my favorite record of all-time is Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs,” Lund says. “I identify very strongly with Western music. There aren’t a lot of artists writing legit cowboy stuff anymore, but there’s a few of us doing it, or trying to”.
Just as long as they don’t get waylaid by the temptations of the recreational weed dispensaries along the way.
“Bottom line?” jokes Lund. “If this doesn't get me a Pendleton whisky endorsement, I don't know what will".
Corb Lund’s El Viejo will be available across digital retailers, on compact disc, and standard black vinyl. A limited Black & White Splatter Vinyl edition including a Corb Lund autographed postcard, as well as an autographed compact disc edition, will be at Independent Retailers and is available for pre-order. Click here for details.
Full tracklisting for Corb Lund's 'El Viejo'
1. The Cardplayers
2. I Had It All
3. Was Fort Worth Worth It?
4. Out On a Win
5. Redneck Rehab
6. El Viejo (for Ian)
7. When the Game Gets Hot
8. Girl With the Stratocaster
9. It Takes Practice
11. Old Familiar Drunken Feeling
Corb Lund has also announced a Canadian tour, with New West labelmates 49 Winchester as support, launching March 5th, 2024 in Vancouver. Please see all dates (with more to be added) below.
For the full list of Corb Lund’s 2023 and 2024 tour dates, see below:
12 - Hastings County, ON, CA - Tweed Kiwanis Pavilion
13 - Princeton, MN, US - Truckerfest 2023
14 - Burnstown, ON, CA - Neat Coffee Shop (SOLD OUT)
16 - Kingston, ON, CA - The Broom Factory (SOLD OUT)
17 - Hamilton, ON, CA - Bridgeworks
18 - St. Catharines, ON, CA - Warehouse Concert Hall (SOLD OUT)
19 - Cambridge, ON, CA - Farm League Brewing (SOLD OUT)
21 - Los Lunas, NM, US - Taos Muncy Invitational
24 - Stratford, ON, CA - Revival House (SOLD OUT)
25 - Peterborough, ON, CA - Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (SOLD OUT)
27 - Windsor, ON, CA – Meteor (SOLD OUT)
1 - Ferndale, MI, US - The Magic Bag
2 - Grand Rapids, MI, US - Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
3 - Grand Rapids, MI, US - Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill (SOLD OUT)
4 - Cleveland, OH, US - Beachland Ballroom
5 - Columbus, OH, US - Woodlands Tavern
7 - Libertyville, IL, US - Impact Fuel Room
8 - Hobart, IN, US - Hobart Art Theater
9 - New Berlin, IL, US - Danenberger Family Vineyards
10 - Peoria, IL, US - Revival Music Hall
11 - St. Louis, MO, US - The Golden Record
12 - Wichita, KS, US - WAVE
14 - Oklahoma City, OK, US - Beer City Music Hall
15 - Tulsa, OK, US - Mercury Lounge
16 - Tulsa, OK, US - Mercury Lounge
17 - Little Rock, AR, US - Stickyz Rock-n-Roll Chicken Shack
18 - Dallas, TX, US - Ferris Wheelers Backyard and BBQ
19 - Fort Worth, TX, US - Tulips FTW
21 - San Antonio, TX, US - Sam's Burger Joint
22 - Austin, TX, US - Sagebrush
9 - Las Vegas, NV, US - The Horse I Rode in On (SOLD OUT)
14 - Las Vegas, NV, US - The Horse I Rode in On
w/ 49 Winchester supporting:
5 - Vancouver, BC, CA - Orpheum
6 - Kelowna, BC, CA - Kelowna Community Theatre
7 - Calgary, AB, CA - Grey Eagle Event Centre
9 - Edmonton, AB, CA - Midway Music Hall
10 - Edmonton, AB, CA - Midway Music Hall
11 - Saskatoon, SK, CA - TCU Place
13 - Winnipeg, MB, CA - Burton Cummings Theatre
14 - Thunder Bay, ON, CA - Community Auditorium
16 - Ottawa, ON, CA - Algonquin Commons Theatre
17 - London, ON, CA - London Music Hall
20 - Toronto, ON, CA - Danforth Music Hall
El Viejo is released on 23rd February 2024. The single ‘Old Familiar Drunken Feeling’ is out now and premiering exclusively on Holler above.