Filed Under:

Corb Lund Built This Album With His Own Two Hands

Play associated audio

The prelude to Canadian singer-songwriter Corb Lund's new album sounds like a classic country music song. Lund built a cabin in rural Alberta with his longtime girlfriend and favorite uncle, but after the cabin was completed, his girlfriend left and his uncle died. Snowed in for weeks at a time, Lund emerged with Cabin Fever, the title of his new album.

For city dwellers who dream of moving to the country, buying some cattle and becoming gentleman farmers one day, Lund offers a cautionary tale in "Cows Around": it's more bitter than sweet, with a touch of western swing — western Canada, that is.

As a fourth-generation rancher, Lund knows better than to romanticize life on a farm. He's not especially inclined to write about anything romantic without a dose of darkness, which might explain his lengthy tenure in a metal band before embarking on a solo career. But as a songwriter, Lund finds glory in tough work, spotting characters most people would overlook, and celebrating them with colorful sketches like "Dig Gravedigger Dig."

Lund's ironic humor and keen sense of the multilayered strata of American pop culture is similar to Hayes Carll, the wry Texas singer-songwriter who trades verses with Lund on this song. The two friends have traveled a lot of miles together to perform. It's easy to imagine either of them as the touring musician in the song, who swipes a motel room Bible to bring his band good mojo on their road trip. In his defense, those books do say "Please Take One," don't they?

Guns and graves, bovines and bikers, whiskey and women — even with all the references Lund crams into his new record, it rarely feels gratuitous, and that's impressive. It's because he's experienced much of what he sings about. Rural living isn't easy, as he shows, and that's why it makes for such great songs.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


From 'Unproud' To 'Hombre,' Election 2016 Is Testing Our Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster noticed the number of unique words coming out of this campaign, and has been using Twitter to report the most searchable words. Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski talks to Rachel Martin.

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

Bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are reviving election cake: a boozy, dense fruitcake that was a way for women to participate in the democratic process before they had the right to vote.

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election

Ana Navarro has become a standard bearer for Republican women repudiating Donald Trump. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with the GOP strategist about her view of the election, which is only 16 days away.

The Next Generation Of Local, Low-Power FM Stations Expands In Urban Areas

The next wave of low power FM stations is coming on the air. Initially restricted to rural areas because of interference concerns, nearly 2,000 new stations have been approved — many in urban areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.