I don’t like making comparisons, for the most part, because I feel like it’s a lazy way to describe an artist or album but rules were made to be broken. On Counterfeit Blues, Corb Lund brings a mix of Wayne Hancock, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Chris LeDoux to the table. It’s a great mix of styles across a cool dozen tracks. Whether he is doing grooving on tracks like “Big Butch Bass Bull Fiddle” or laying down the fuzz on the title track everything is tight where it should be, wobbly where it sounds right, and just the right backing for Corb’s lyrics and voice.
One thing I hate more than comparisons is genres and it’s sad that Counterfeit Blues will likely get filed under “Country” or a sub-genre thereof because it’s not. Sure there are a few twangy songs on here, as there should be, but it’s so much more than just another country album. Corb even takes a stab at the Talking Blues along with all of of the other styles he takes and makes his own on this one. In fact, if you can’t find a song or five that you like on this then you’re probably a little dead inside. I know I usually talk about the songwriting, and I’m getting there, it’s just the music on this one is good that I feel like that point needs to be made.
While the music, obviously blew me away on this one, it’s the lyrics that keep me coming back. It’s possible to make an album with all the notes in the right places and all three chords played with just the right amount of distortion, with lyrics that leave the listener distanced and unconnected. Corb Lund is having none of the here. The music might be the vehicle here but the lyrics are truly in the driver’s seat on this one.
Exploring the range between just plain fun and truly dark Counterfeit Blues is a showcase of good lyrics. I’ve had this one on repeat for a couple days and I can’t get it out of my head. I’ll be sitting in traffic, not listening to the radio, and find myself humming “Five Dollar Bill” and tapping my foot against the floorboard. There is something infrectious about the songs on this album, something that once it has it’s hook in you, it doesn’t let go. You should give this one a spin for sure, I can almost gaurantee that one spin will turn in to three or five. Music that’s Essential Listening tends to do that and this record clears that hurdle with ease.