Will wonders never cease?

My world is falling apart. All the supports and structures that make up my worldview are shifting, sliding, collapsing. Listen: I have found a country album that I may buy.

Now, to be fair, the band is Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans. Never heard of ’em? Well, Corb was the bassist for the smalls, back in the day. Never heard of the smalls? Well, I can’t help you, then.

Actually, I can. the smalls were a band out of Alberta, a rock-and-roll indie group, known in the press as “Canada’s Hardest Working Independent Band”. I found them late in their career, at the tail end of a decade plus of touring. They rocked my socks at Minnedosa, and then I caught them in Sassy’s (a former strip joint) for the Brandon show of their “Goodbye Forever” tour. I have two or of their CDs, 1992’s To Each A Zone and 1995’s Waste + Tragedy, and would love to find their last release, My Dear Little Angle.

A few of the tunes on Waste + Tragedy are somewhat country-tinged, in content if not in sound. “Pity the Man with the Fast Right Hand”, which I’m listening to right now, has lyrics like, for instance,

Pity the man with the fast right hand
In a drunk and a definite way
He was a hard, cold fighter with the goods to please the writers
Till a woman came to put him away

I mean, what’s more country than that? Of course, it comes with a driving bassline owing more to funk than to Waylon Jennings, but the story’s a country ballad, a tragedy of gunsmoke and glove-leather.

So the Corb Lund band, well, it’s not a huge step. Plus I can tell myself it’s “roots” music to make myself feel better about wanting to buy a country album. Which won’t stop my wife from laughing at me. (Well, it hasn’t stopped her so far, anyways.)

Canadians may have seen the video for The Truck Got Stuck on CMT; I know I did, a couple of times. Then CBC played another tune from the same album, Always Keep an Edge on Your Knife, Son. So. I think I’m in.

But I’m still not buying Garth Brooks, let me tell you.