Lund’s debut, 2014’s Counterfeit Blues, showcased him and his three-piece Hurtin’ Albertans (guitarist Grant Siemens, upright bassist Kurt Ciesla, and drummer Brady Valgardson) revisiting previously recorded material at Sun Studios in Memphis, a fine fit with Lund’s unadorned, austere sound.
This time, he and the Albertans huddled with Americana producer Dave Cobb to create arrangements that are austere yet studded with elements of Bakersfield, surf, and ’60s and ’70s rock and country.
These new compositions blend social commentary with more personal subjects. “Sadr City,” enhanced by Middle Eastern riffs from Siemens, reflects on a real-life Iraqi war incident. On “Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues,” Lund wryly explores a rocker’s nightmare of a career implosion forcing him to return to his old manufacturing job, spiced up by Siemens’ Roy Nichols riffs.
The guitarist is on fire on “Talk Too Much,” a tale of confronting a drunk. The heartfelt ballad “Sunbeam” honors Lund’s deceased niece. Solo acoustic guitar frames “S Lazy H,” a commentary about the changing ranch life Lund knows well. The sound and beat of ’70s outlaw country drives “Goodbye Colorado,” another tune reflecting Lund’s sharp observational eye.
Yet again, Lund and his band make an enjoyable and compelling case for simplicity.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s February ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.