Scott Cook – Tangle of Souls
Format: CD/Book – Limited LP/Book & Digital
Scott Cook is a dedicated DIY troubadour who’s been making his home on the road since 2007. While touring relentlessly around Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa and elsewhere, averaging 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year, he’s also managed to produce seven studio albums along the way.
Cook’s 2017 album Further Down the Line earned his second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination (for English Songwriter of the Year), and has sold over 10,000 copies – mostly in person, at festivals, folk clubs and house concerts around the world. That album came packaged in a 132-page book featuring the lyrics and chords to the songs, and offering a look back – in words and pictures – on a decade of full-time rambling.
His seventh album, Tangle of Souls, aims even higher and delves even deeper. The 12-track collection comes with a 240-page, cloth-bound, hardcover book, telling the story of a life-changing health crisis and drawing parallels to the crises we face as a society seemingly hell-bent on self-destruction. Set against the background of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, Cook draws on the goodwill and empathy gathered over his years on the road, as well as the hard truths from his own brush with death to shine a light toward our collective uncertain future.
As always, Cook’s plainspoken, sometimes painfully honest songwriting is at the fore, supported by adventurous acoustic arrangements. The bulk of the album was recorded in Australia with his intercontinental string band – The She’ll Be Rights – consisting of Aussie festival favourite Liz Frencham on upright bass, harmony vocals and engineering duties; fellow Albertan and long-time collaborator Bramwell Park on banjo, mandolin, guitar, and harmony vocals; Australian fiddlers Esther Henderson and Kat Mear and Aussie dobro wizard Pete Fidler. The collection contains nine original songs, a cover of unknown Canadian legend Scotty Dunbar, a re-working of Dick Blakeslee’s 1940s activist anthem ‘Passin’ Through’, and an original instrumental fiddle tune. The book is beautifully laid out with eucalypt-leaf prints from Australian artist Cecilia Sharpley and quotes from guiding lights like Woody Guthrie, Walt Whitman and Naomi Klein.
Tangle of Souls is a plea for global citizenship and mutual understanding from someone who’s lived an exceptionally borderless life. It’s a vision of the human family as interwoven, and intertwined with the earth. It’s a story of personal transition, and a case for political transformation. And in these harrowing times, it’s an unflinching look in the mirror that still sees something worth saving.
01. Put Your Good Foot in the Road
02. Leave a Light On
03. Just Enough Empties
04. Say Can You See
06. What to Keep
07. Passin’ Through
08. Rollin’ to You
09. Let Love Have Its Way
10. Why Am I Leaving My Home Again?
11. Tangle of Souls
12. Right to Roam
All songs by Scott Cook except ‘Why Am I Leaving My Home Again?’ by Scotty Dunbar & ‘Passin’ Through’ by Dick Blakeslee
Website: Scott Cook