By Mike Dunn
Alberta troubadour Scott Cook has been crisscrossing the globe for the past 10 years, sleeping in his van and making his living playing his earnest and sympathetic folk songs to appreciative audiences worldwide. On his sixth full-length release, Further Down the Line, Cook once again puts his altruistic view of the world not only on his sleeve, but also to the test, with folk songs that conjure the spirit of his protest-folk influences, while leaving his signature on the form.
The heft of “Alberta, You’re Breaking My Heart” is a particular standout, with Cook piecing together the laments of the people lost under the weight of the boom/bust cycles so common to this province, “My days are dirty, your nights are lonely / Baby, are you sober? / Tried to turn it over but it wouldn’t start / Alberta, you’re breaking my heart.”
Cook’s regard for the downtrodden is a constant theme, as in “If He Showed Up Now,” where he imagines the return of Christ as a dirty and ragged figure come back to find a world where those who claim him as their savior would likely regard him as a zealous revolutionary, and put him to death once again.
Cook has travelled far and wide to find the heart of an increasingly agitating world, and his genuine hope for it is palpable. He brings dark stories to life under the guise of pleasant, and excellently played folk music, which is just as subversive as screaming it over the roar of full-throat punk rock.Further Down the Line, Scott Cook