By Trevor Morelli
CALGARY – Canada has its fair share of excellent alt-country groups – Blue Rodeo, The Dead South, and Elliot Brood, to name a few – but we don’t often find overseas talent playing music in the same genre.
Maurice van Hoek is a budding country voyageur from Amsterdam. He’s played over 300 shows in the last two years in many countries around Europe, including Germany, Spain, and Italy. His latest album Live Forevermore was released in 2016 and, not one to waste time or creative energy, he’s already written all of the songs for the follow-up album.
“Basically the songs are about stuff I experience in life,” he notes. “There’s a lot of difference in every song, but I think the album is sort of the story of my life.”
Musically, van Hoek thinks the new tracks are shaping up to be more mature than those on Live Forevermore.
“It’s a little more advanced in the songwriting, but also I’ve been playing with the same band for three years now, we have more experience.”
While the new album won’t be ready until 2018, van Hoek released a new song called “Give It a Try” in November. He says the tune was inspired by a trip to America.
“I was actually on a trip, a tour in California doing nine shows in 10 days with a buddy of mine. So basically the song is about the stuff I experienced in those 10 days and the chorus basically says ‘You should give it a try because it’s so beautiful. I’d like to show you my ways of life.’”
Country fans in Calgary are in for a treat when van Hoek hits town on Jan. 3 for a show at Café Koi. Not only is it his first time performing in Canada, it will be the only show he plays in our country in the near future.
“I thought it would be fun to do a gig there and see what people might be interested. Basically it’s a vacation for me, so it’s just fun for me to see what we would be able to achieve by basically randomly calling stuff in Calgary and seeing what they can do for us,” he remarks with a laugh.
Although van Hoek takes his music seriously and puts on a great show, he’s also excited about exploring Calgary and celebrating the new year in the Rockies.
“I’m going skiing, I’m going to Banff, I’m going to Whistler, probably. So basically for me it’s a holiday.”
Maurice van Hoek will be playing at Café Koi Jan. 3 (Calgary).alt-country, Amsterdam, Cafe Koi, Maurice van Hoek