An Alberta Icon

Actually, I started out the day humming ‘I wanna be in the cavalry…’which is really catchy, but I’ve ended up playing ‘Hard on equipment’ about 15 times in row now, just because the song is so gosh darned good.

Listen for yourself:


(Corb Lund)

corb lund

He’s been roundin’ off bolts since the age of fourteen
Was that a five eighths or a nine sixteenths?
He’s got a metric socket that don’t quite fit
Well it’ll wiggle just a little but it ain’t quite stripped
The safety guard’s gone from his grinding machine
He got a stiff paint brush he only sorta got clean
He’s the hired man, my neighbor and a cousin in law
He’s a jerry riggin’ fool, he got the tool for the job

Well it’s vise grips for pliers, and pliers for a wrench
A wrench for a hammer, hammers everything else
It just don’t seem to make much difference
I sure do like him but he’s hard on equipment
I sure like you son, but you’re hard on equipment

His corners ain’t square and his floor ain’t level
And he’s had a little trouble with the old tape measure

His doors don’t close ‘cause the jamb ain’t plumb
And he’s a Goddamn menace with an air nail gun
They love to see him comin’ at the lumberyard store
Fixed the leak in his roof with a two by four
Drilled holes in his boards with the wrong kinda bit
And when they don’t line up he blames the government

He got the whole front yard full of fix ‘em up cars
Three don’t run and the rest won’t start
Everything’s fine with his rebuilt motor
Except of course for the couple spare washers left over
Baler twine tie downs goin’ down the road
On two bald tires and an oversize load
He ain’t never read a manual ‘cause that’s like cheatin’
He don’t mind the grease on his hands while he’s eatin’

He’s got busted up knuckles, his thumb got bruised
Jesus Christ was a carpenter, too

That last line “Jesus Christ” reminds me of my dad.

Picture my sister and I sitting watching TV upstairs, my dad downstairs putting lights in the newly finished basement. All of a sudden we hear “gggggggaaaargh” – then silence. I look at my sis, she looks at me. We spend a moment in silence, then I say “You go down”, she says “No, you go down”. This goes on for another 30-40 seconds. Finally, much to our relief we hear “JEEESUS CHRIST” in my dad’s voice booming from the bowels of the house. So, we figure, if he can curse he’s OK, and went back to the Flintstones.

True story.

Don’t know what you about Corb Lund, but here are a few highlights about this Alberta music icon:

Lund was a founding member of The Smalls ; ( – a hardcore punk band I caught at least once – I think at Bronx. (‘nother fact, Nirvana played Bronx too

Hurtin’ Albertans is Corb Lund’s touring band.

In 2006 Kurt Browning, performed a figure skating routine to “Expectation and the Blues”.

In 2009 Lund signed with New West Records, home of Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson – keeping company with alt rock aristocracy.