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Thursday, January 27, 2005

(Gonna) Shine Up My Boots

One of my favourite albums is The Corb Lund Band's Five Dollar Bill (2002). You can check out a couple of their videos here (site requires Flash). Fronted by the hard-drinking, poker-playing (even his singing voice is pokerfaced) Corb Lund (formerly of The Smalls), these guys, who describe what they do as roots-country, grabbed me the first time I heard them. The album's third song, Short Native Grasses (Prairies of Alberta), stopped me in mid-stride as soon as it began playing and had me frozen in place by the first time through the chorus

The prairies of Alberta, they ain't never hearda
The things that are keepin' you down
And the short native grasses don't care that the ashes
Of your dreams match their dry shade of brown

A little while after I first heard that song I saw their live show at the bar where I work and I was hooked solid. That's a couple of years ago now and I can still shove in the album, as I did today, and it sounds as fresh and powerful as it did that first time. There's not a bit of pretentiousness on it. It's a well-produced, solid, simple (in the best sense of the word) sounding album with well-written lyrics that say what they want to say without ever taking themselves too damn seriously.

I can never decide which song I like most (besides Short Native Grasses). At the moment it's the one I've used as the title of this entry

I'm gonna shine up my boots
I'm gonna go into town
I'm gonna scrape up twenty dollars
I'm gonna throw it around...

I'm gonna find me a game
Of hold 'em if I can
And fold 'em all night long
Till I got me a hand

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update: edited because for some reason I tried to describe Lund's voice as laconic — oh, the handle I have on the language

1 comment:

Roshan said...

Corb Lund is my fav country singer. Great songs!