Country Music Central

MARCH 4th, 2005


By Donna May
I forget that sometimes music needs to take you out of your own head.
It can help transport you to another place, time, or way of life.
A performance by Tim Hus at the Tongue ‘&’ Groove in Lethbridge
Friday night was just the reminder I needed.Listening to the talented young singer from Calgary did exactly that. His tales are that of rodeo cowboys, oil-riggers, miners, honky-tonks, railways …and all other things that we embrace in Alberta and Western Canada.

Tim is a storyteller with a very clear vision of what he wants his music to say….And many people are listening. His latest release is “Alberta Crude”

We talked a bit about where he comes from, what he’s doing now, and what’s next…

CMC: Tell me Tim, when did the art of storytelling come to you?

TIM: Well, I’ve always been into storytelling. I come from a long line of storytellers. My father was a world traveler… probably been to over 100 countries. He worked on ships and stuff like that and he helped in the building of the Trans-Australian Railway. And he was a great storyteller. He used to be a cabinetmaker in Quebec City. He had a guitar on the wall that he brought with him out west. He bought that guitar with his last $50.00 and headed out west in the middle of a snowstorm. Then he settled in the Kooteneys, married my mom, and that’s where I was born. So everyone would gather around him and listen to his stories. He never learned how to play that guitar while telling his stories. So I picked it up and that’s pretty much where it all started for me. The only way I could out do him in storytelling was to play the guitar and sing it.

CMC: Does the process of writing come easy for you?

TIM: No, not really, I would say the idea for a song comes easy, but to sit down and iron it out takes awhile. I think most songwriters would tell you that. Sometimes they come easybut not usually. I guess it probably takes months.

CMC: Do you do any co-writing at all?

TIM: I do most of my writing on my own. We did some shows this winter with the Corb Lund Band, around Alberta and Saskatchewan. He’s a good friend of mine, so we’ve written something together. It’s called “The Hurtin’ Albertan”. It’s going on my next album, and I think it’ll be going on Corb’s too.

CMC: Let’s talk about your musical influences …

TIM: Sure..Johnny Cash, Stompin’ Tom, Ian Tyson The aspect that I’ve always been interested in and what I do with my material, is the storytelling aspect of country music. Those guys are the really good storytellers, who sing about what they know. Like it really came to my attention that Stompin’ Tom, coming from the Maritimes, and lived a lot in Ontario, drew on that for his material. And that’s what I do. I live here so I write about what I know and it’s going really well. People seem to be very responsive to that.

CMC: So who would we find in your CD player these days?

TIM: I got the new Ian Tyson a couple of days ago, so I’ve been listening to that a lot. There’s a guy from Utah named Brenn Hill. He’s a cowboy singer and I’m a big fan of his. So,Ian Tyson, Johnny Cash, Corb Lund.A few other local people. Another guy is Danny Mack … he’s lives in Vancouver now. I saw him this summer and we played a show together. .. I would say he is one of the most underrated musicians as far as true honky-tonk music goes .. I listen to him a lot.

CMC: Are you going to be shooting a video?

TIM: Yeah..We are actually working on it right now…for the song called” The Longest Stretch of Road”. That has been our best radio single so far. It should be out end of May, early June.

CMC: You’ve done a lot of living for a guy your age, traveled a lot, lots of interesting work, any of your jobs that you would like to re-visit?

TIM: Yeah I’ve tried out a lot of things. A lot of people say that I’m too young to have done all the things I’ve done…I was pretty eager to try out different things. The best job I would have to say was a beer truck driver in Germany. You get the right of way all the time…everybody’s always glad to see you…it’s like”Yeah, the kegs are here,” They like their beer! (Laughs)

CMC: Does your mother lives in Germany?

TIM: Yes, she does, although she’s in Calgary right now. I’ve been to Germany 18 times, I guess. I did a trade fair over there a few years back called “A Taste of Canada”. It was a really good experience and a lot of fun.

CMC: What else is coming up for you in the near future?

TIM: I’m going to do Alberta Scene in Ottawa in April. I’m gonna play a couple of shows there. I believe one is an auditorium show with some cowboys, and the other is with Corb Lund and Mike Plume. One is a cowboy show and the other, I think, kind of a rock room. I’m looking forward to that.

CMC: What do you like to do for hobbies or just to relax?

TIM: I like model railways. I like that quite a bit…I do a canoe trip every spring. I grew up on the lake so I enjoy that kind of thing… and just being outside.

CMC: Can you tell me a little known fact about Tim Hus?

TIM: hmm…well...I like Pilsner beer? (Laughs)

CMC: Come on now Tim! Is that really a “little known fact”?

TIM: Well maybe not! I’ll have to think about that one.

CMC: Okay. We’ll talk about that next time. It’s been a pleasure talking with you Tim. Have a great time in Ottawa and we’ll see you in the spring.

TIM: Yes, I’m looking forward to that and Thank You.

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