Tim Hus, 33, is a rare country singer/songwriter, one that has no interest in playing in Nashville.
He just isn’t into the pop-and-rock country Nashville is cranking out these days. “I’ve always had an interest in this land. I’m a country folk singer and all I ever wanted was to write songs about people. I wasn’t into Nashville. It’s all about radio hits and scoring ratings,” says Hus.
The British Columbia-born, Calgary-based singer/songwriter is performing at St. Albert Community Hall on Thursday, Aug. 4. Opening for him is St. Albert country singer Leah Durelle and Tupelo Honey guitarist Tyler Dianocky.
Hus is a rare throwback to the heyday of traditional country and western when voices such as Johnny Cash, Ian Tyson, Willie Nelson and Woody Guthrie ruled the airwaves.
Fast becoming a Canadian institution, he captures the rough edges of blue-collar life and makes them shine. With five albums to his credit, he conveys a certain discerning pride writing about Canadians.
Like a rolling stone that gathers no moss, the western troubadour has travelled from coast to coast picking up stories and singing the praises of open pit miners, prairie cowboys, fishermen, rail-riding vagabonds, beer haulers, saddle bronc riders, oil rig drillers, train robbers and even hockey moms.
Stamping each song with a country folk feel, Hus ties together Canada’s regions with their diverse threads into a common universality. His two latest albums, Hockeytown and Bush Pilot Buckaroo, were released under Stony Plain Records.
As a youngster, he developed a love of storytelling from his free-spirited, German-born father, a man who sailed the world in the merchant marine, laid bricks in Brazil and worked on the Australian railway.
“When I was kid I would ride the freight trains with him. I guess he thought it was a necessary part of my education.”
Hus started plunking away at a guitar in high school. But it wasn’t until he worked at a remote logging camp in Alberta that songwriting came into play.
“The guys were always up for songs. They were starved for entertainment and deaf from the chainsaws.”
While studying fisheries at the Vancouver Island University he played the bar circuit on weekends. When he flew to Germany to complete a practicum, he spent the summer singing at a Canadian pavilion at a local exhibition.
Upon returning to Canada, Hus set a plan into action for a music career and pulled together a band called the Rocky Mountain Two named after Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Two.
And opening two tours for Canadian patriot Stompin’ Tom Connors has certainly boosted his career.
“I just like to help the audience gain a stronger sense of identity by telling stories from different regions and informing the listener about the goings-on in different parts of the country.”
Tim Hus with Leah Durelle and Tyler Dianocky
Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.
St. Albert Community Hall
17 Perron Street
Tickets: $20/advance; $25/door, available at Alpine Autowash, #400, 10 McKenney Ave.