While AmericanaFest and other Nashville happenings dominated the headlines back on Sept. 13, Canadian country singer Corb Lund served up a delicious appetizer for his band's next full-length album with the eight-song covers EP Cover Your Tracks (New West Records).
Lund and his longtime backing band reinterpret the works of diverse artists ranging from the obvious (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan) to the surreal (AC/DC, Billy Joel) while maintaining their straight-off-the-ranch appeal.
"I've been wanting to do it for some time because I've had the same guys in my band for 12, 14 years," Lund tells Wide Open Country. "We have a distinct band sound, so my goal is to take these songs, filter them through our sound and put our stamp on them. If it was just a bunch of studio people, there wouldn't be much point."
It comes at a busy time for Lund, who can be briefly spotted drinking a beer at Maggie's in the new season of The Ranch-- a show with an Americana and country music soundtrack that's offered Lund broader exposure in the states. Streaming Lund's cover songs and acting chops should hold fans over until his next full-length album of original material arrives in 2020.
Wide Open Country's recent interview with Lund included a round of song title association -- as opposed to word association --during which the singer and band leader shared what first came to mind when asked about all eight songs from Cover Your Tracks.
"These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" (Nancy Sinatra)
"Everyone's done that, but I didn't care. We've been playing it for fun for years, so I stuck it on there. I like Megadeth's version."
"The Cover of the Rolling Stone" Feat. Hayes Carll (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show)
"I've been playing that one forever, too. I thought it would make a good country song, and Hayes Carll sang it with me. I had to change the 'teenage, blue-eyed groupies' line because that's not cool anymore."
"They're Hanging Me Tonight" (Marty Robbins)
"(Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs is) my favorite record of all time. I discovered it when I was 10 years old, and it's been my favorite ever sense. We kind of made a surf song out of it with a Quentin Tarantino vibe."
"Outlaw Man" (The Eagles)
"I love The Eagles. Not many people are talking about The Eagles these days. They've fallen out of fashion, but those old Eagles records are awesome. It's from Desperado: their first concept record about being a gunfighter."
"Ride On" Feat. Ian Tyson of Ian & Sylvia (AC/DC)
"I always thought that could be a cool western song. The lyrics themselves are about an old guy who's had a rough life, so it kind of fits the genre. It has Ian Tyson, an old cowboy singer from Canada. It's my favorite AC/DC song."
"Seven Spanish Angels" (Willie Nelson and Ray Charles)
"I've just always liked Willie's version of that with Ray Charles. That song is interesting. It's super simple. It's two short verses and the chorus. It's a masterpiece of writing."
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (Billy Joel)
"I love Billy Joel. He's a really outstanding songwriter. I like him because when you listen to his records, every song sounds super different. Queen is like that too. You don't put on the record and it's same tempo, same feel."
"I Shall Be Released" (Bob Dylan)
"Some people in Canada put on a touring production of the 40th anniversary of The Last Waltz, and I sang some songs on that. I knew the song, but I learned it a lot better from that."