Aly Cook – Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel

This is Apra nominated Aly Cook’s second crowd sourced effort and solid collection of vibrant and uplifting country-tinged pop tunes with a clear sway towards humanity.  Two tunes ‘Kimberly'(which features a didjerado, clapping sticks and the spiritual imagery of the great read land) and the locomotive Western Line’ are clearly located in the red soil of the Outback.  She works with the Jimmy Little Foundation and in May spent time helping Aboriginal children of the remote Mutitjulu community at Uluru.  You can see her passion to bring about change and recognition for Australia’s indigenous peoples all over this record. Aotearoa is well represented, too, with OMC producer Alan Jansson at the desk; lashings of vocal input from Graham Brazier and the trademark fiddle of Warratah’s Nik Brown especially on the barn dance favourite “Message in a cloud”. There are nice romantic musings like the self-explanatory “No Phone, No Mail, No Internet”, a yearning to get away from the world “and make time for us instead.” The smoothly poppy ‘Midnight Cowboys’ guests Paul Kingery of Three Dog Night with a slightly Mexican guitar twang to it and ‘Sassenay’ rounds it all off with swelling emotion courtesy of a rousing chorus from a kid’s choir.

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