Canadian country icon Corb Lund has released a brand new album of cover songs titled Cover Your Tracks. It’s a fun album filled with songs from artists like AC/DC, Billy Joel, Nancy Sinatra and more, but with a country flare!
Corb has been called one of the best contemporary country songwriters by Popmatters, and one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” (Rolling Stone Country). To say that Corb Lund has made an impact on the Canadian country landscape would be a massive understatement.
Our own Scott Sykes had the chance to connect with this Canadian country artist to chat with him all about this great project. Check out the full interview below.
An Interview With Corb Lund
Front Porch: First of all, congratulations on all your success, and congrats on the release of your new EP, the brilliantly titled “Cover your Tracks”, featuring 8 covers – why these 8 songs, and what do they mean to you?
Corb Lund: Ha, yeah, I think it should win the Grammy for ‘Best Title For A Covers Album’! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, record a bunch of old favourites from my past. It’s a pretty diverse bunch of songs, from a variety of styles. I like a lot of different stuff, I guess.
FP: These songs are originally by artists of ranging genres, from Nancy Sinatra, to AC/DC, to Billy Joel – growing up, did you have a favourite artist or genre specifically, or did you have broad musical tastes?
CL: As a kid I was subject to my parents record collection, like everyone, so that meant mostly western music, and some 70s country. Marty Robbins, Sons of the Pioneers, Jim Reeves, Tanya Tucker, Kristofferson. Then in junior high I discovered the Eagles, Bob Seger, Ozark Mountain Daredevils. In high school I found Black Sabbath, then evolved to like Slayer and Witchery and a bunch of metal stuff. But yeah, I have very broad tastes. It all gets put into the cauldron. I’d be bored otherwise.
FP: What was it like working with legend and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer Ian Tyson?
CL: It was great, he’s an old pro. We’ve been friends for years, we’re both from the foothills of the Rockies up here in Alberta. I thought he brought a real gravitas to the old AC/DC ballad about having lived a tough life. I wasn’t sure he’d want to do it, but he was all for it. Turns out he likes it a little loud sometimes. He even made a cool music video for it with me, shot on our respective ranches. And he got up and sang it with me at the Calgary Stampede, in front of 3000 people. He’s pretty hip for 86 years old.
FP: Listening to the album, I felt like I was transported to a different time. It was so enjoyable to listen to, and you’ve put such a great spin on these songs – how important was it to make these songs your own?
CL: Pretty important, that was sorta the goal. Most of them I’ve been playing with my band live for years and I’ve had the same guys forever so we have a distinct band sound. So the idea was to filter these old favourites of mine through our lens and try to make them ours a little bit. I think we mostly succeeded.
FP: How does releasing this album feel compared to releasing an album of originals?
CL: Kind of fun actually. The pressure is off because I already know the songs are good. That’s what I usually worry about with my own stuff! Yeah, mostly a lot of fun. I wanna do a similar album someday called Songs My Friends Wrote. Covers, but obscure stuff by all my songwriter friends.
FP: So many new artists look up to you and your career – are there any new artists coming up right now or songs that you’re really connecting to?
CL: I really like Branson Anderson from Utah, he opened for us in Salt Lake and I took him on tour for a while. He just put out a great new record. Jaida Dreyer is great, we write together, she’s a hardcore horse gal. And the Turnpike Troubadours who are close friends of mine; I hope they get back together. Leeroy Gibbons is kinda new I guess, he’s pretty great. Ned LeDoux is great.