Scott Cook is a Canadian songwriter based in Alberta and this is his third solo album. He is one of those songwriters who believe in travelling and playing. He performed 156 shows in 2010, and somewhere along the way it provides him with the material to produce an album every couple of years. As befits a man who spends his life on the road, the songs are simply delivered in a style that at times borders on talking. Yet that simple style is more than most songwriters can hope for and Moonlit Rambles is an excellent album full of stories.
The album opens with “Song For The Slow Dancers”, a song about exactly what the title says, but seen with the eye of a songwriter, like a great photograph of an everyday scene that most normal people would never even have noticed. The outstanding track on what is an outstanding album is “Go On, Ray”, a song written for his paternal grandfather which compares to Guy Clark’s “Randall Knife” for the feeling it conveys over its near-seven-minute length.
The countryside never seems to be far from Cook’s songs – “A Million Miles” and “Come Up to the Country” to name two – but there are also love songs and train songs and songs of hope, though there is also a sense of sadness that comes through in the voice. Listening to the album makes you long for the simple way of life, the way life should be rather than the way it is. Maybe there is even some hope that we are not yet completely lost.
The only complaint would be that Cook seems to restrict his travels to the US, Canada and Taiwan. Hopefully his wanderlust will bring him to our shores soon so that we are able to enjoy him first hand and perhaps provide him with material for his next album.