Calgary Sun

APRIL 30, 2004

Tim Hus CD Release Party is at Merlot May 1

Stompin’ Tim Hus

by Mike Bell

“I just write about stuff I know about.” Simple, huh? But sadly that approach is one that too many songwriters somehow manage to lose along the way, if they ever get it to begin with.
For Calgary-based musician Tim Hus — the man responsible for the quote — it’s something he has an incredible grip on and gift for.
Like Ian Tyson, Wilf Carter and Stompin’ Tom — whom Hus pays tribute to with a song titled Man With the Black Hat — Hus writes simple, extraordinary songs about ordinary life and the people he’s met, the places he’s been and the things he’s seen.
His latest album, which he releases May 1 with a show at Merlot, is titled Alberta Crude and, predictably, tells the stories of the Prairies which he’s called home for the past year and a half. And his love of the province and its people is evident as he and his band the Rocky Mountain Two — Rick Preston and Spider Bishop — warmly charcoal sketch the sights and sounds of places that many who’ve lived here all their lives have either taken for granted or, shamefully, never taken much interest in.
“I don’t know if I would call it a shame because everyone’s got their own agenda in life,” says Hus.
“Some people it might not be their thing to check out little towns — they’d rather be at the mall or whatever.
“But there’s certainly quite a bit out there and every town has a story and a reason for being there — and those things always interested me.”
He credits much of that interest to his father who was a truck driver and also worked for the CPR.
But you could also credit Hus’ restless spirit for much of his music.
It’s kept him on the go, travelling the world and taking an incredibly diverse and long list of jobs along the way, such as salmon farmer, forklift operator, treeplanter and well driller — all of which provide great fodder for songs.
“I’m not really afraid to try new things,” he says.
“The jobs I’ve had, I liked all of them. I liked working in a logging camp and I liked working on a fishing boat, but I wouldn’t consider
that a career.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’d have to stick with one of those for the next 30 years, but it’s pretty fun to do that.”
These days when he’s not making music he’s framing houses and doing renovations, which likely pales in comparison to what he reckons was his favourite job.
“I worked on a beer truck in Germany,” he says.
“There were 29 bars on our circuit that we delivered kegs to, and when you’re on a beer truck in Germany it’s amazing — you get the right of way everywhere, and everywhere you show up people cheer.
“They certainly do drink a lot of beer.”
And is there a beer truck song in his repertoire?
“No, there’s no beer truck song yet,” he chuckles.Not yet.

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