Review: Corb Lund’s New Album ‘El Viejo’
UPDATED: February 23, 2024
UPDATED: February 23, 2024

Corb Lund’s El Viejo (For Ian)

Corb Lund has once again hit a high note with his latest album, El Viejo. I wholeheartedly recommend this album without reservation. With 11 tracks, this latest release serves as a tribute to Lund’s late friend and mentor, the renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Ian Tyson, who passed away on December 29, 2022. In a touching gesture, Lund chose to produce and record the entire album in his own living room, aiming to foster organic interactions and capture the raw vulnerability of live music.

Authenticity is a hallmark of Corb Lund’s music. A genuine cowboy at heart, Lund’s sincerity shines through in every note. This authenticity permeates El Viejo, lending organic depth to the sound that allows each instrument to breathe and resonate naturally. The album exudes the ambiance of a raw, stripped-down jam session, with the natural reverb of guitar solos, the clang of banjo strings, and the occasional unintentional string mutes creating an immersive experience. Listening to the album, I felt as though I were seated in Lund’s living room, witnessing The Hurtin’ Albertans masterfully craft each song.

Lyrics and Songs

Lyrical content is another area where Lund consistently delivers. His unique perspective and penchant for exploring unconventional themes are evident throughout the album. In Out On a Win, Lund vividly portrays the struggles of a “washed-up” MMA fighter yearning for one final victory, showcasing his surprise understanding of the sport. The title track, El Viejo, bids a poignant farewell to Lund’s departed friend, reflecting on the passage of time and the changing landscape of life.

Of course, no Corb Lund album would be complete without his signature blend of self-deprecating humor and autobiographical storytelling. The Cardplayers, which opens the album, recounts the misadventures of Lund and his inebriated bandmates as they are ejected from a casino for their unexpected winning streak. Each track on the album is meticulously crafted, demonstrating Lund’s gift for lyricism. He manages to convey profound sentiments with simplicity and elegance, devoid of pretension.

Old Familiar Drunken Feeling

One standout track on the album is Old Familiar Drunken Feeling, a whimsical gem that resonates with my own personal experiences, trying to perfect that drunken alchemy in order to come back to reality. Lund humorously recounts a harrowing encounter with Colorado edibles, demonstrating his resilience as he “Cowboy Ups” through a challenging gig. The accompanying video adds an extra layer of entertainment to the song, making it a potential hit.

Final Thoughts

Corb Lund Sucessfully Captures That Old Familiar Feeling with El Viejo

In conclusion, El Viejo is a quintessential country music album that calls back to a bygone era of pure folk music and analog recordings. With its authentic sound and heartfelt lyrics, Lund transports listeners to a simpler time. As of now, El Viejo holds the top spot on my playlist, and I anticipate it will remain there for the foreseeable future.

Album Release: February 23, 2024       Label: New West Records, LLC

Favorite Tracks: Out on a Win, Old Familiar Drunken Feeling

 

RootsnRevelry Grade:                           

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You may also be interested in Corb Lund and Hayes Carll’s Bible on the Dash

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