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He performed during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he toured with Canadian icon Stompin’ Tom Connors and this weekend Canadiana Cowboy Tim Hus will bring his music to Merritt.
The Alberta-based country musician will be performing at the Culture Club (formerly Iron Mountain Music) on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the first professional concert presented by the SaySo Expression Society, and he’ll be sharing the stage with Billy MacInnis (fiddle and lead guitar) and Riley Tubbs (upright string bass) known as the Rocky Mountain Two.
This won’t be Hus’ first stop in Merritt — he’s played Mountainfest as well as several dinner shows at the Hitch ‘n’ Post in Lower Nicola — but he’s looking forward to his first concert in Merritt proper.
“I’ve been a headliner at the Kamloops cowboy festival a few times and I always have a good reception at the shows around there,” he said. “It’s going to be a good sort of country cowboy show, with Canadian songs from coast to coast, fiddle tunes and western cowboy songs.”
According to his website, Hus “comes at his audience like a runaway rig, while firing off image-laden lyrics with the intensity of a western gunslinger.”
With songs that tell stories spanning the Canadian experience, his music transcends the country music genre in a Johnny Cash kind of way. In fact, Hus says that has been his greatest compliment.
“People tell me they don’t really like country music, but they like what I do, because it’s more Canadian than country,” he said. “By the time we finish the show, we have songs about all the different provinces, songs about fishermen, loggers and miners. When we’re through, you won’t find too many people in Canada who can’t relate to our music.”
Born in Nelson, B.C. (a place he describes as a hot bed of country music) Hus wrote his first song while working in a logging camp just after high school. With a knack for stringing words together and telling stories, Hus would sing his songs “just for fun” to entertain the guys.
“A song about a logging camp when you’re singing for a bunch of loggers is an easy sell,” he said. “But I went to the coast and wrote a song about salmon fishing, and then when I had enough songs, I did an album.”
In between, Hus worked as a beer truck driver, a saw-hand, a tree planter, a cabinet maker and a well driller (and his songs reflect his experiences); however, Hus eventually got a recording contract with Stony Plain Records and has been focusing on his music full-time for the last six years.
His fifth and most recent album is titled “Hockeytown,” reflecting the sport he says ties the vast country together.
“It’s a very diverse country, but there is a certain common thread or spirit that runs through everywhere. And of course, there’s hockey,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter where you are, it’s a hockey town.”
Hus has got one song he knows he’ll be singing this weekend; it’s called Open Pit Mine, and it’s about the Highland Valley Copper Mine. The song, which opens with the lyrics, “I’m leaning on a pole in the bottom of a hole, north of Merritt, B.C.” is sure to strike a chord with at least a few in the audience, and it’s this familiarity that characterizes his music.
“Everyone likes stories and when you sing about about things people can relate to (like the mine where they work) it’s particularly dear to them,” he said.
Early tickets for the show are available for $15 at Country Bug Books and the Nicola Valley Medical Centre, or for $20 at the door.