Corb Lund is an artist it took me a shamefully long time to discover, and then to like. Consequently, I’m very, very late in discovering all of his albums, most importantly his latest, “Cabin Fever”. As it was released in 2012, I’m over a year behind. However, this album is so refreshingly different that I feel it still merits talking about.
The tracks on “Cabin Fever” are really varied. There are love songs, cowboy songs, drinking songs, and….even a cow song! It’s things like these that tell me how truly artistic Corb Lund is. The fact that he is able to do all these songs, and have none of them come off corny is amazing to me.
The album opens with “Getting Down on the Mountain," a crazy mix of what-if apocalypse scenarios and thoughts that the country is the place to be. I’ve never heard a song like this, and I think it was done really well. Plus, it’s a very good showcase of Corb’s songwriting and overall sound, and it gets you in the mood to listen to a Corb Lund album.
Then, there is “Dig Gravedigger, Dig." And yes, it’s really about a gravedigger. No metaphors here guys, Corb really went there! It’s a cool song, with elements of blues and a good groove to it. “Bible On the Dash” features Hayes Carll, a well-known Texas country artist. The duet is all about getting pulled over by the police, and the Bible on their dash getting them out of some unsavory situations.
One of my favorites from this album is “September." This is a really sad love song about a rural man losing his girl to the big city. I haven’t heard a love song like this in a long time, so it’s refreshing. This is no standard breakup song, it’s all about the divide between the country and the city, and how some people want different things in life. . The very amusing “Cows Around” is all about cows, and how they make life better…or not. “Drink It Like You Mean It” is a drinking song, but Corb’s drinking like a serious person, not one of those ironic, amateur drinkers. I love the musical arrangement of this song, and Corb’s lyrics in it are witty.
Then, there are the story songs” “Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner” may be a long title for a song, but it really tells all. An unsuspecting antique gun owner gets shot by the person he was showing off his gun to. “Pour Em Kinda Strong” is a really big favorite of mine. The title is misleading on this one, and I didn’t realize that it was more of a story than a drinking song, at first. It’s a story about an outlaw, who just may have changed his ways had he not died in the end.
Overall, this album is a must-have if you like country music, cowboy songs, or stories and humor in your music’s lyrics. “Pour Em Kinda Strong” is my favorite new story song, as far as outlaw and Western stories go. “September” is a beautifully sad love song that is also really unique. With his ability to convey many emotions, be it sadness or humor, this album is one of my favorite purchases in the last year. Add to all this that the fact that the deluxe edition of “Cabin Fever” comes with acoustic versions of all the songs on this album, and I’m extremely happy that I’ve finally started liking the genius that is Corb Lund.