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Corb Lund Covers Gordon Lightfoot’s “Oh, Linda” For SiriusXM Polaris Cover Sessions

Kurt Ciesla, Corb Lund

The Polaris Music Prize has released the video for its first SiriusXM Polaris Cover Session for 2020 featuring award-winning songwriter Corb Lund covering “Oh, Linda” from Gordon Lightfoot’s Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize-winning album, Lightfoot!

The Cover Sessions series is also supported by Re:Sound.

An in-studio performance video of the song is now available via the Polaris YouTube and Facebook channels. Additionally, an audio stream of it can be found on the Polaris Soundcloud channel.

Lund’s version of “Oh, Linda” was recorded in Strathmore, Alberta and was engineered by Darryl Swart at OCL Studios and mixed by Darren McGill at Union Sound Company. Lund, who produced the song, performed all vocals while Kurt Ciesla provided upright bass and percussion.

“I love Gord as much as every other Canadian,” said Lund. “And I was going to do one of his folkier numbers until I came across ‘Oh, Linda’. I’d never heard it before and I thought it was super-cool because it was just him and an upright bass. The jazz feel of the bass part totally reminded me of my upright player, Kurt; that part is right up his alley. So in the end I’m glad we found an obscure, quirky tune we could fool around with. We had a blast cutting it. We might even play it live.”

The Lund cover is the first of two planned for 2020 that feature past Polaris nominees interpreting songs from albums that have received Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize designation. Gordon Lightfoot’s Lightfoot! album received its Heritage Prize designation in 2017.

Hailing from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with a long family lineage of ranchers and rodeo people, Lund’s recent release Agricultural Tragic has been met with critical and fan acclaim.

Lund is a multiple CCMA, Juno, and international award winner, and has made the Polaris Music Prize Long List on two separate occasions, in 2008 for the album Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! and in 2013 for the album Cabin Fever.

“There are people who do western music and they kind of freeze-dry it, like museum style,” Lund says. “I don’t do that at all. I’m interested in expressing myself currently. Which is actually what it feels like to have six generations of cowboy heritage thrown into the crazy 21st Century urban setting. I love the traditional style and I use it. But I approach it with abandon and irreverence.”

Lund’s cover will be pressed on to a limited edition vinyl record that will be given as gifts to 2020 Polaris Short List nominees.

This is the 16th cover song commissioned by Polaris. Other acts who’ve contributed to the series include Partner, Faith Healer, Pierre Kwenders, Jean-Michel Blais, Lindi Ortega, Weaves, Little Scream, Hannah Georgas, Les soeurs Boulay, Joel Plaskett, Zaki Ibrahim, Whitehorse, Sarah Harmer, Great Lake Swimmers and Arkells. These performances are available on the Polaris YouTube and Soundcloud channels.

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