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.