THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Aly Cook

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Aly Cook: Western Line
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Aly Cook

Aly Cook should need no introduction given how many nominations she's had for best female country artist (five) or because of how she turns her skills as a publicist to her own advantage. She is all over social media, sends out interesting newsletters (she's so much on the move they read like travelogues) and just keeps writing and playing.

If she isn't as well known in her homeland as she should be that's perhaps because she is so well regarded across in Australia that she's constantly playing there – and in the US and across Europe.

Right now however her profile should be high on the back of her second album with crack producer Alan Jansson (OMC, Sisters Underground, Greg Johnson, Carly Binding) Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel.

There are just nine songs but they run from pop-country to big hearted ballads and it is an impressive showcase for her writing and vocal skills.

Time then for her to answer our Famous Elsewhere Songwriter Questionnaire.

The first song which really affected you was . . .

Songbird – Fleetwood Mac

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Ummm loved Bread first ... John Denver . . . loved Stevie Nicks, wanted to wear hippy clothes and be just like her :)

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Neil Young

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson?

Umm phew.. Lennon McCartney , kd lang, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .

If I Can’t Make You Love Me by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin recorded by Bonnie Raitt first .. LOVE this song !

A song by a dear friend unknown writer from Nelson called Kate Holland. Song is called Sea Dreams beautiful sea shanty ..

My latest write which I am pleased with structurally and lyrically. It’s a co-write with Buzz Bidstup of Australian band Gangajang. The Song is called Kulini or Listen in Pitjantjatjara aboriginal Language.

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

Sometimes just all at once … usually hear it and then have to run for the guitar pen and paper…

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Not really a book reader as such but do enjoy the Richard Branson book. Which covers his childhood and how he built up Virgin Records..

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .

Paul McCartney .. who wouldn’t want to ? 

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . .. . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Recent download a best of Dixie Chicks and most recent album well was a DVD actually Jeff Beck LIVE at Ronnie Scotts which was the second copy because I killed the first one. I have a lot of indie and crowded funded albums I've bought too.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . .

Anything that ment I didn’t have to work again would be great ... not I would stop being a workaholic.and all . but .. I could imagine living off the royalties of “Hey Jude”

alyOne line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .

At the moment I am in love with the song that Alan and Brent wrote on my album ‘Midnight Cowboys”

“Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel, Lizard ate the flies and all is well

Can’t seem to make the darkness Bright

Snakes Stand United on the right

Burn outs and bacon hoops

Wagon circles Stars and Loops

Satellites across the sky

Checkin in on Everybody’s lives”

The lyrics seem crazy but deep meaning under them .. very non literal . love it .

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?

Oh 100% Inspiration definitely. I love to write .. it’s a wonderful Gift I am eternally grateful for ..

Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?

Yep, quite a few times 

And finally, finish this couplet in any way you like: “Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .” (You are NOT allowed to rhyme that with “meet” however): Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .

Kerosine upon the wind

that carries me to sleep

Upon the silver wings of change

In every single way

Other land to greet

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