I have to admit that country music is not my forte. Although I was apprehensive about reviewing this latest effort from Corb Lund and his band, the Hurtin’ Albertans, the rockabilly sound immediately drew me in. Counterfeit Blues was produced at the famed Sun Studio in Memphis—the same studio that saw past greats like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash create some incredibly memorable music. You might recognize the Juno Award-winning Lund as the former frontman for the Canadian punk/metal band The Smalls. In the past, Lund has played with the likes of The Who, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Keith Urban to name only a few. The result of his time in Memphis is overwhelmingly amazing. The songs are tight and the music raw with great honky-tonk feeling, and while the arrangements are simple, they produce a well-rounded feel with pedal steel guitar and stand-up bass taking centre stage along with Lund’s gritty vocals. While every cut on the album is strong, standout tracks include “Buckin’ Horse Rider,” “Hurtin’ Albertan,” and “Truck Got Stuck.” These gems just ooze “road trip!”

– Judy Roche