The Corb Lund Band -- Five Dollar Bill
Review by Owen
You just know that when the cover of a country music album features the artist at the age of 12 or 13 at the Writing-On-Stone Rodeo as a steer rider, that you are buying something authentic. Corb Lund is a man who can realisticly claim the title Cowboy Singer, even if he is most famous as the bassist for the popular Edmonton Indie Band The Smalls. A lot of people in Alberta who may never have seen him with the Smalls might just have seen him as a featured performer at "The Gift" a tribute to the songs of Ian Tyson, which is deeply appropriate, because I can think of no other Alberta songwriter who comes so close to telling the sort of compelling and interesting stories that Ian Tyson does. This music is truly evocative of the Alberta that I know and love.
The title track, "Five Dollar Bill" is one of the songs that I just couldn't stop singing after hearing it at the Calgary Folk Festival 2001, which annoyed me no end, because the album was about 9 months in coming after that. Very enjoyable music, which reminds me of my own Grandad's stories of midnight distilling and illegal border crossings during the '30s. From there, the album covers a lot of ground from the super traditional, a fragment of "The Cuckoo" to modern interpretations on a theme like "Buckin' Horse Rider", to a sort of Dyllanesque semi-talking bluse called "Expectation and the Blues". This last track's first verse says a whole bunch, which could be said about being on the road, alienation, etc, but to me it reflect how I feel after 8 months at school, and not seeing the Opinionated Fiance for far too long.
Well you know I over-intellectualize
When really what I'm feelin's a lot of shit inside
But Jesus it's hard to self-actualize
When you can't stop thinkin' about going home
Also, I think that I might be able to get away with Track 10 as a dance at the Wedding, "Daughter Don't You Marry No Guitar Picker."
For a fantastic album with no bad cuts, that makes me feel like $18 is a bargain, it gets 5 pints of Full Bodied Lager, chased with moonshine whiskey and served up nice and cold. One for each of the Titular Dollars. (I also really like the word titular.)