Photo credit: Noah Fallis

Lund’s 10th studio album is a DIY winner

With his latest album, Alberta treasure Corb Lund returns to familiar themes like card playing, war (think Horse Soldier!), and Western capers.

Lund will release El Viejo on February 23 before his show at the Grey Eagle Casino on March 7. 

This is Lund’s 10th studio album, and he decided to self-produce the work and record it at his Lethbridge home. “The longer I do this, the less enamoured I am with professional studios that are all shiny with black leather couches and all that,” says Lund. “I like funky, dirty down-home places and doing it in my living room is ideal. It’s all about comfort. It’s not about equipment and it’s not about a pristine sounding room. It’s about getting people into a mood… We did it all very organically, very live. All the vocals were live. There was no one guy does his part and then we track on top of it; it was the four of us sitting in a circle.”

Show horse maven Jaida Dreyer returns as co-writer on a couple of songs, and Lund also snagged Ocean’s Thirteen writer Brian Koppelman to co-write a track. 

Lund co-write the title track with Tom Russell and the El Viejo (old man) it references is Alberta legend Ian Tyson. 

“When Ian passed, I assumed that at some point I’d probably write about it. I didn’t sit down on purpose, I just kind of let it simmer and didn’t try and force it and it kinda came out one day,” recalls Lund. “There’s a thread in that song about how he’d had it with the world [and didn’t want to live in it]. I don’t mean he was suicidal, but … he expressed to me a number of times in his final years [that] he didn’t feel like he fit in the world anymore, so there’s an element of that in the song which is kind of sad, but I mean, I feel that and I’m 30 years younger than him, right?”

Tyson’s spirit stalks the song from the first line. “It was unusual because I’ve been playing that riff, annoying my band with it, for a couple of years now. I actually took the vocal melody from the riff; usually it’s the other way around.”

El Viejo is out February 23 and Corb Lund plays Grey Eagle Casino March 7.