(Photo: Jamie Younger)
There was some dirty weather knocking about Wilkesboro last night, dashing our plans to camp creekside on the festival grounds and pick guitar ‘till sun up. Camping is part and parcel of the MerleFest experience, and sleeping under a roof just felt like cheating. But the skies have now cleared, thankfully, and we’re ready for a great weekend of music that promises sets by Robert Plant, Randy Travis and the Del McCoury Band.
Corb Lund, a Canadian troubadour who is signed to New West Records, got things rolling Thursday with a spirited set from the Watson stage. Lund played tunes off his album, “Losin’ Lately Gambler,” a collection of songs steeped in the mythology of the Old West.
Lund, who hails from the wilds of Alberta, told the crowd that his native people raise cattle and harbor distrust of the federal government. “It was a lot like Texas,” he said.
Lund got the crowd swinging with a song called “Big Butch Bass Bull Fiddle,” a tale about the difficulties of traveling on airplanes with an upright bass. He then kicked in to a trucking song, a cinematic romper worthy of any great American honky-tonker.
Check out our session with Lund from 2009, and look for more updates from MerleFest on americansongwriter.com.