Edmonton Journal




By Peter North
EDMONTON - As an artist, Tim Hus has greatly matured and evolved over the past six years. Many fans have enjoyed hearing from Hus's ever-expanding songbook, which is one reason the southern Alberta singer-songwriter recently signed a three-album deal with Edmonton's Stony Plain Records.

The first of those three recordings, Bush Pilot Buckaroo, will be officially released Friday night at a concert party at Queen Alexandra Hall that is being produced by the Northern Light Folk Club. It's the perfect down-home and unpretentious setting for Hus to rattle off numbers such as Dempster Highway, Hockey Mom, Roadhouse Band and Battle River, which are found on his fourth recording.

To have Stony Plain directing the production and promotion of his first major release isn't really a surprise as the two parties have much in common.

One connection is Corb Lund, who also records for the label. Lund has been a longtime friend and supporter of Hus, and he's been quoted as saying, "Tim's one of my favourite songwriters. Nobody captures the rough-and-ready frontier imagery better than him."

Hus and Lund also co-wrote the song Hurtin' Albertan, which found its way onto Lund's Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer album and Hus's Huskies & Husqvarnas disc.

Two summers ago, Hus and Stony Plain's Holger Petersen got to know each other a little better, helping to pave the way for the business deal they settled on earlier this year.

"Holger and I were roommates at the big Alberta bash in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2006. The organizers just happened to pair us up. He mentioned he liked what I was doing and kept an eye on us. For obvious reasons, I've always liked his label and initially we just talked about distribution and then talk turned to a deal."

Hus draws on influences such as Woody Guthrie, Fred Eaglesmith, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Stompin' Tom Connors, and his father, Helmut Hus, who to this day is one heck of a raconteur. A jack of all trades who travelled the globe visiting 101 countries, Helmut Hus also encouraged his son to "do what you want to do, but do it well."

Thinking outside the box, Hus will put on his own gigs if need be and has worked his way back and forth across the country playing venues ranging from backyards to honky-tonks to rodeos.

"We just played our annual gig at Springpoint Hall in the Porcupine Hills. It's great. There will be nobody around all afternoon while you're setting up and then all of a sudden the pickup trucks start arriving. Kids, dogs, local ladies unloading boxes of pies and tarts -- it's a real community affair," says Hus, who just came off a three-week swing of B.C.

"People are saying the material on Bush Pilot Buckaroo is our strongest work by far. But I hit a new milestone at one show where a guy yelled out, 'Your new songs are fine, but play some of the old stuff.'

"I've hit the place where some of my material is old stuff; that feels like we've been around."

Hus plans to drawn on some of that old material. Look for songs like Beer Hauler, Huskies & Husqvarnas, Saddle Bronc Ride and Alberta Crude to find their way into the two sets Hus will be performing with his longtime road buddies, bassist Spider Bishop and Telecaster player Peterbilt Pete Christian.

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