Country Music News

COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS, JUNE 2006

RECORD REVIEWS

HUSKIES & HUSQVARNAS

by Larry Delaney
Canadian Country music has always had it’s share of musical characters…through the years we’ve been treated to ‘homegrown’ songs by the likes of Wilf Carter, Hank Snow, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Smiley Bates, Ian Tyson, Dick Nolan, Murray McLauchlan, George Fox, and many more coming from practically every corner of the nation. Today there’s a whole new generation following this illustrious trail with Fred Eaglesmith, The Road Hammers, Corb Lund…and now Tim Hus, creating songs about the Canadian landscape and it’s peculiarities. One listen to this latest collection of original tunes by Tim Hus and you get the feeling that he may well become the next big “country storyteller” on the Cancountry scene.

Tim Hus is from Alberta, and not surprisingly his songs here have a Western Canada theme, seldom straying from his area of experience. The albums title track Huskies & Husqvarnas (a brand of chain saw) tells of a Northern ‘survival story’, not unlike the songs created 25 years ago by Bob Ruzicka and Ted Wesley. Pipeline tells about a bulldozin’ drivin’ woman working the oil fields with her big piece of equipment; while songs like Beer Hauler and Rumrunner need little explanation. Beer Hauler in particular is a great piece of Canadiana, with Tim Hus incorporating dozens of beer brands into the lyrics of the song.

Other highlights here come in Hurtin’ Albertan, yet another truck driver’s lament, this one featuring special guest Corb Lund workin’ the CB in the truck cab. It’s a lot of fun. There’s also a reprised version of Hurtin’ Albertan on the album with additional verses, sans the CB. Flin Flon, has a bit of Stompin’ Tom in it, and could be the answer to his classic Sudbury Saturday Night.

Tim Hus is the creator of most of the picturesque songs featured here, but one that he didn’t write (the honor goes to Danny Mack, of Cement City Cowboy fame) is Canadian Cowboy. The song first appeared on Danny Mack’s 2003 Galaxy Cabaret album, but Tim Hus adopts it and makes it fit perfectly to the overall theme of this great album…here’s a sampling of the Canadian Cowboy message:

I’m not Garth Brooks that’s plain to see
I ain’t ever been down to Tennessee
And another Alan Jackson I’m not
This is somethin’ special that I got
I’m a Canadian Cowboy singin’ my songs
And if you feel it in your heart, you’ll even sing along
We’ll sing about Alberta, we’ll sing of Saskatoon
I’m a Canadian Cowboy howlin’ at the moon

(Danny Mack Music/ SOCAN)

The album also contains one of those silly “hidden tracks” (have never seen the need to ‘hide’ something in a CD). This one has Tim Hus telling us the story about a little too much party time…losing his identity…and explaining the results by telling us there are now two Tim Hus’. Actually, that’s something that Canadian country music could use!!

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