Aly Cook: Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel (alycook.com)

 |   |  1 min read

Aly Cook: Midnight Cowboys
Aly Cook: Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel (alycook.com)

Mainstream country music – more Nashville than Austin, and not remotely alt. – barely gets acknowledged in New Zealand outside of specific regions and outlets, which makes you admire singer-songwriter Aly Cook's persistence all the more.

She had taken her music global (tours in Europe, across Australia which seems her second home and of course the US), has an Australian distribution deal and played Tamworth five times, has had five nominations for best female singer at the NZ Country Music Awards (won once), was up for an APRA country song of the year award . . .

And this new album is her second with producer Alan Jansson, best know for producing OMC (How Bizarre) and Sisters Underground's hit In the Neighbourhood. It also comes with some impressive guests (Graham Brazier, Brendan Dugan, guitarists Fats White and Kara Gordon, fiddle player Nik Brown from the Warratahs, Paul Kingery of Three Dog Night and others).

When the first single went on pre-release across the Tasman it immediately went into the country top 40.

So the lady has considerable form and these songs – crafted pop-country with their boots in the dust or on the dancefloor and eyes on blue skies – confirm her abilities.

Love is Fool Time Job and Midnight Cowboys with its gentle throb (co-written by Jansson and Brent Hayward who as Fats White contributes the cover art) have the potential to cross over onto mainstream rock radio where they would happily sit alongside classic hits by Fleetwood Mac and Shania Twain.

Her tribute to the dramatic landscape of the Kimberley (with dijeridoo and clapping sticks) is suitably atmospheric and wide-screen, and there's an aching folk ballad (with a children's choir) about a young soldier from Aotearoa in the killing fields of Sassenay, France.

Take the word “country” out of the equation if it troubles you and just immerse yourself in Cook's considerable gifts, here brought into sharp perspective by Jansson's production and the guests who support but never impose themselves.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Fleetwood Mac; Then Play On (Warners)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Fleetwood Mac; Then Play On (Warners)

Released in 1969, this -- their third album -- was the last of the original Fleetwood Mac line-up which included guitar genius and Mac-founder Peter Green, another graduate of John Mayall's Blues... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fatoumata Diawara: Fatou (World Circuit)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Fatoumata Diawara: Fatou (World Circuit)

Yet another artist out of Mali who confirms that country -- alongside only Jamaica perhaps -- seems to have more gifted and distinctive performers per head of population than any other country on... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EVERY POSTER TELLS A STORY! 30 YEARS OF THE FRONTIER TOURING COMPANY edited by ELOISE GLANVILLE and  SARAH MORGAN

EVERY POSTER TELLS A STORY! 30 YEARS OF THE FRONTIER TOURING COMPANY edited by ELOISE GLANVILLE and SARAH MORGAN

Many people who have grown up in the rock era have band posters knocking about the house. Some of these are artistic (my framed one of Big Brother and the Holding Company with Moby Grape in San... > Read more

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Sonny Bono: Pammie's on a Bummer (1967)

Hard to know where you might start with Sonny Bono, the Republican politician who was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. He was of course much more than that and in his late 20s he worked... > Read more