Published Jun 13, 2014While Corb Lund prepares to reunite with the Smalls for a pair of festival gigs, the seasoned Alberta songsmith also has a couple of his own albums in the works. His live-in-studio album Counterfeit Blues is due out on June 17 through New West Records (with the U.S. release following on July 1), and Lund spoke with Exclaim.ca about the record and his plans for the follow-up in 2015.
Counterfeit Blues consists of reworked versions of previously released songs, which he and his band the Hurtin' Albertans recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis.
"CMT wanted to do a video special of us recording some of our old material in Memphis," Lund tells Exclaim! "An album was sort of an afterthought. It just turned out so well that we just had to release it." The CMT special aired last December (watch a trailer below).
Part of the reason for the release is to introduce Lund's U.S. fans to his early records, from before he signed to New West, since these never got much attention south of the border. The material here comes from Five Dollar Bill (2002) and Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer (2005).
While those albums originally were made in what Lund calls "the Nashville way," with each instrument tracked separately and the end results carefully polished, Counterfeit Blues is "very down and dirty. Just put up some mics in a room and press play, basically."
This approach will carry over into Lund's next album of original material. "We're moving very much towards a really organic, raw recording style, so it will definitely be that way," Lund reveals. "I'm kind of sick of pristine-sounding records. I like records that have the odd mistake and have some mic bleed and the odd false start. I think that stuff's cool."
The album is still in its "formative stages," with the singer having written "a handful" of songs. It's possible that his reunion with the Smalls will influence the final results. "There's a pretty good chance of it," he observes. "Everything I do in my life somehow ends up in the music."
The Smalls will play at X-Fest (August 30 in Calgary) and Sonic Boom (August 31 in Edmonton).