Cabin Fever
New West

Authenticity is a rare commodity in country music these days, but Canadian Corb Lund seems to haul around a trailer full of it wherever he goes. I get the sense that more than once he’s been out digging post holes while some of his contemporaries were out shopping for jeans or getting their hair tinted. And it’s that feeling of coming from someplace that’s real that makes his music so enjoyable. His new album, Cabin Fever, is a prime example of how good music can be when it comes from real people with real life experience. Every song on it gives you the feeling that if Lund didn’t live it personally, it was imparted to him directly, probably at a bar or over a fence. From the survivalist’s dream “Gettin’ Down On the Mountain” to the foot-stomping “Gravedigger,” there’s plenty here that should be creepy, but turns out to be good fun. Even the more serious fare, like the melancholy “September,” a classic lilting cowboy tune about the girl who isn’t coming back, and the heart-wrenching “One Left In the Chamber,” are so well-written and played that they’re just a joy to hear. The Hayes Carll-infused “Bible On the Dash” is a rocking tale of musicians on the road, using the Good Book as an amulet to ward off law enforcement. Shame on any radio station that doesn’t play this song. And Lund’s cowboy street cred is on full display on “Cows Around,” and “(You Ain’t A Cowboy) If You Ain’t Been Bucked Off,” just in case you needed reminding that Canada has cowboys, too. Mix in a couple of obligatory drinking songs — “Drink Like You Mean It” and “Pour ’Em Kinda Strong” — and you have all the makings of a truly excellent country record … with authenticity to spare. — SCOTT COX