FAME Review: Tim Hus - Western Star
Tim Hus - Western Star

Western Star

Tim Hus

Stony Plain Records - SPCD1365

Available from Stony Plain Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Besides a gritty ability with lyrics and catchy country music-making, Tim Hus possesses a drawly singing voice that sounds just like your dusty rough-hewn uncle who always shows up on holidays banged-up, unshaven, limping just a tad, and grinning like he knows a whole bunch of things you don't because yer just too danged citified, Buster. More, he ain't one of these Hollywood types who came up through breakfasts on silver platters and dandied-up parties on Rodeo Drive, nope, not at all, cuz in his life he's been, now get this: a beer truck driver (huzzah!), warehouse hand, carpenter's helper, framer, tree planter, forklift driver, van driver, brewery worker (double huzzah!), fruit picker, fisherman, pine-cone picker (seriously!), well driller, sawhand, cabinet maker, painter, courier, assembly line worker, furniture mover, salmon farmer (I'm pretty sure you don't need chaps for that), maintenance man, and general all around day laborer. Beat that inside straight for the Everyman Life if'n ya can, Bertram.

Western Star kicks off with Hus' fourth ode to truck drivers, helping out ol' C.W. McCall and the asphalt rough riders of times gone by right on up to this very day, this one commemorating Western Stars rigs, having previously covered Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Freightliner. Skip down three cuts and you have my kinda religion, the Church of Country Music, Hus relating an anecdote about an audience member who one time clamored for a George Jones song. Tim asked the guy if'n he mightn't have photos of George and Jesus on his mantel back home, and the gent replied "I don't believe in Jesus, but I believe in George Jones". Heh! Open up that bottle of JD, bartender, I do believe I've located my kind of atheist and a friend.

So…are we talkin' Americana here? Nope, Hus comes from the North country, a firm-blooded son of Canada, but, hell, what's the diff? Throw together a concert with Colin Linden, Willie Nelson, Steve Dawson, Ray Benson, Ian Tyson, and this youngun Hus, and what you have is brothers of the sod 'n stave, my friends. Forgotten Sailor sounds like a cross between Gordon Lightfoot and latterday Tyson while Halifax Blues boasts an electric guitar by either Billy McInnis or Kenny Vaughn, can't tell which, that's downright funky, funky, funky. The lyrics are all pure Laredo/Halifax street poetry, and there're so many Stetsons, rattlesnake belts, leather boots, and steer horns bedecking the dozen songs here that you're gonna swear you accidentally stumbled onto a Canuck version of a grittier Oklahoma. And Hus' 'Canadiana Cowboy Fabulous Superlative Band'? Bet the house that they are…'cuz they are, and in Tim Hus, I think we're looking at the new lion of country music. This is one of the best country albums I've ever heard. No lie.

Track List:

  • Western Star
  • Master Caster
  • Pheasant Huntin' Day
  • Church of Country Music
  • Halifax Blues
  • Forgotten Sailor
  • Inside Passage
  • Hardcore Apple Picker
  • Marietta Miner
  • Madawaska River
  • Short Go Shuffle
  • Wild Rose Waltz
All songs written by Tim Hus.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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