Corb Lund

Corb Lund


On his fifth album, Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!, Corb Lund writes about warfare via something he knows about first hand: horses. Lund has built his career by spinning distinctly Albertan anecdotes for the past decade, on gold-selling albums like 2002’s Five Dollar Bill and 2005’s Hair In My Eyes.


Growing up in Taber, Alberta, Lund’s lineage boasts over a century of cowboys. And thanks to his keen lyrical pen, Lund’s Alberta is ready to take its place in a long line of immortal locales lucky enough to have their own poet laureates who paint vivid pictures, spin mythologies and create memorable characters. Think of any of the following: Bruce Springsteen’s New Jersey; Stan Rogers’ Maritime provinces; John K. Samson’s Winnipeg; Lou Reed’s New York City; Stompin’ Tom Connors’ small town Canada; Lucinda Williams’ Louisiana.

And yet voices like those are increasingly rare. Mainstream pop music of all stripes - rock, country, R&B, even hip-hop now - ignores regional specifics, to the point where even as gifted a storyteller as Corb Lund once questioned his lyrical outlook.

“Everybody's going for generalities, when sometimes the interest is found in the quirky details,” says the proud Albertan. “I had insecurities about whether people outside of my culture and geographical area - which is the prairies and foothills of Western Canada - would be interested. But so far they have been: as far away as Europe, the UK, Australia, and even Toronto.

“But I believe that if you write honestly and authentically about your own culture, no matter what it is, people will pick up on the universality of it. My family has been in Alberta chasing cows for a hundred years, and in the American west long before that, so that's where I feel at home.”

Not only does he write the kind of timeless melodies that sound like they’ve been handed down by oral tradition, he boasts a top-notch, bare-bones backing band he calls The Hurtin’ Albertans.

Kurt Ciesla, upright bass player for the Corb Lund Band, was raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. An extremely versatile musician, he is a former member of funk acts Blue Locutus and Bubba and is a familiar and respected musician in the Edmonton Jazz music scene. He has performed a number of times with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, including a live concert on the MacIntyre Ranch. Kurt is all about the bass.

The very talented and capable Brady Valgardson of Taber, Alberta is the band's drummer. Brady comes from a family of drummers and has performed with several bands in southern Alberta where he currently lives and works on his family farm.

Grant Siemens is the most recent member of the Corb Lund Band. A Winnipeg native, Grant lends his talents as a lead guitar, lap steel and banjo player, providing a refreshing fourth dimension to the band's sound.

Last year, Lund found himself on the main stage at the influential Glastonbury Festival in the UK, playing before his pop biggest audience
to date, in a slot right before the Waterboys and The Who. He’s long been a favourite
on the rodeo and folk festival circuits. He and his band were featured in the horror movie Slither. He’s still remembered in Canada’s indie rock community for his decade in the punk band The Smalls. He has video hits in Canada and Australia. And in 2006, fellow Albertan Kurt Browning performed a figure skating routine to a Corb Lund song for an NBC special. More recently, Crowsnest Films has been nominated for Best Music Video for Corb's “I Wanna Be In The Cavalry” by The Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association (AMPIA), and Corb has also received nominations for the 2008 Juno Awards.

Ultimately, Lund’s lyrics are what set him apart from every singer/songwriter trying to reinvent the wagon wheel. With a firm grasp of history, a colourful vocabulary and an aversion to typical love songs, Lund is a storyteller, first and foremost. That makes him part of a dying breed.


Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! (2007) - Stony Plain Records
Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer (2005) - Stony Plain Records
Five Dollar Bill (2002) - Stony Plain Records
Unforgiving Mistress (1999)
Modern Pain (1995/2003)

Set List

1. I Wanna Be In The Cavalry
2. Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier
3. Lament For Lester Cousins
4. Brother Brigham, Brother Young
5. The Horse I Rode In On
6. A Leader On Losing Control
7. Student Visas
8. What That Song Means Now
9. Hard On Equipment (Tool For The Job)
10. Family Reunion
11. Especially A Paint
12. Ciesla's Revenge (Intro)
13. My Saddle Horse Has Died
14. I Wanna Be In The Cavalry: Reprise
15. Taps