Corb Lund’s name has been on the lips of many Yukoners. As in, “Did you happen to see Corb Lund’s set at the Frostbite festival?”
That was in 2002, one year after disbanding his wildly popular punk band The Smalls and going country. Since then he has become a well-respected country music star.
He’s well recognized in the wider world as well as in the Yukon and his home province of Alberta – a search for “Corb Lund” on Google produces 379,000 results. He’s a Juno Award-winner, and seven-time Canadian Country Music Awards Roots Artist of the Year winner.
His upcoming show in Whitehorse is billed An Evening of Cowboy Stories & Song with Ian Tyson and Corb Lund, and will take place on Sept. 4 at the Yukon Arts Centre.
Lund has performed with the legendary Ian Tyson in the past – they take turns opening for each other’s shows. Most recently, they performed on August 15th in Calgary at the McMahon Stadium for the Alberta Flood Aid Benefit. “[Tyson]’s nearly 80 and he sounds better than ever,” an enthusiastic Lund says.
Lund’s most recent album is called Cabin Fever, and has been released in the United States. It features some great storytelling through his lyrics, as in the track Gettin’ Down on the Mountain. This song proposes an end to oil and questions how people will then survive.
Lund writes, “There ain’t no heat and the power’s gone out, it’s kerosene lamps and candles. The roads are blocked, it’s all gridlocked, you got a shortwave handle? Can you track the deer, can you dig the well? I couldn’t quite hear your answer. I think I see a rip in the social fabric, Brother can you pass the ammo?”
On his website, there’s a video of him chopping wood. It shows great form and looks like he would fit right in with life in the Yukon, wearing his full beard and red long underwear.
“I like the frontier feel in the Yukon,” Lund says.
He says Yukoners have a handle on the basics such as food gathering and shelter. We like knowing where our food comes from. Lund recalls the festival hospitality in the Yukon and liking the moose chili provided to him.
As for the evening of cowboy stories, with the decades-long careers of both Tyson and Lund, it will be filled with stories. Lund expects an evening with lots of interaction and enjoying each other’s company as musicians and fellow Albertans.
When Lund returns to his Edmonton home, he will be preparing for a garage sale. Yes, a garage sale on Sept. 6 to 8 during the Canadian Country Music Award weekend. No word as to whether he will haggle on the prices of his memorabilia and even their old touring van that is up for grabs. The tour with Tyson will then continue on to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on Sept. 12 and wrap up at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Nov. 30.
An Evening of Cowboy Stories & Song with Ian Tyson and Corb Lund takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre.
Sharon Shorty is a Tlingit, Northern Tutchone and Norwegian storyteller and performer based in Whitehorse.