Alastair Moock is only in his mid-20's but you would be hard pushed to recognize it from listening to "Bad Moock Rising." He exudes a maturity in his playing and songwriting that takes many musicians people another 10 years or so to achieve. Although "Bad Moock Rising" is credited solely to Moock, he is ably supported by percussion, and a veritable cornucopia of stringed instruments: dobro, pedal steel, mandolin, banjo, bass and fiddle!
"Woman Like The Wind" gets the show on the road, in fine style. It shows that Moock can write and carry off a good tune in a blues/roots style with a tinge of country. There is some nice pedal steel playing on this one too, and Moock's voice sounds strangely familiar, although I cannot recall who he sounds like. The first of two covers follows in the shape of Bob Dylan's "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" which works pretty well too, before Moock gets stuck into the coffee bar intellectual elite who are completely wrapped up in their own world on "Here's a Latte and My Middle Finger."
The pick of the tracks is a close run thing between the opener, and "Economist John." The latter leans towards Bluegrass territory and includes some fine banjo picking from Eric Royer. It is also offers another very good example of the satirical side of Moock's lyrics: the "hero" of the song tries to chart his love on a graph in an obsessive. After the self-pitying tale of woe ("Take Me When You Go") and the pleasant love related tale of "January," we reach the closing track ("Pretty Boy Floyd"). This is the second cover--credited to Woody Guthrie--and was recorded live and solo. Moock supplies an explanatory commentary alongside the song, which works really well. It is also a nice
contrast to the band line-up of the rest of the album, and shows that Moock can cut it live as well as in the studio.
"Bad Moock Rising" is a good album, that merits repeated listenings to catch all of the nuances and subtleties in the lyrics and the playing. It is fairly easy to see how Moock has established himself a reputation in his home region. Albums of the quality of "Bad Moock Rising" can only serve to enhance that reputation further. You can catch up with the latest news about Alastair Moock (and buy a copy of "Bad Moock Rising") by visiting his
web site (www.moock.com).
This review is copyright © 2001 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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