Bad Moock Rising
'Boston singer/songwriter Alastair Moock is an anachronism in the best sense. He's a young man with the wizened sound of someone much older, often sounding a lot like Steve Forbert in both voice and arrangements, and he mixes his rootsy, confident originals with covers of old songs by people like Woody Guthrie and the young Bob Dylan. He writes hook-filled country rockers like 'Woman Like the Wind' that steer you down an Americana highway with a slick dobro lead, and lonesome roadhouse love songs like 'Take Me When You Go,' mixing them up with funny slacker anthems like 'Here's a Latte and My Middle Finger.' His between-verses comments in the eight-minute live version of Guthrie's 'Pretty Boy Floyd' that closes the disc show that Moock knows both his history and how to tell a good story.' - Dirty Linen A CMJ New Music Report 'Must Hear' ----------------- What shelf does Alastair Moock belong on? Folk? Rock? Roots? Blues? The truth is, his music can't easily be pinned to any one genre-and that's just fine with him. It doesn't seem to bother his growing national audience either. Moock's award-winning songs have been compared to those of John Prine; his whiskeyed voice to those of Steve Forbert and Tom Waits. His recorded material ranges from deeply-grooved blues and twang to lush folk-rock and raw acoustic roots. He has played solo at many of the top listening rooms and outdoor events in the country - including the Newport, Falcon Ridge and Boston Folk Festivals - but he is equally comfortable playing smoky bars with his band or acting as impresario for his traveling roots music revue, Pastures of Plenty. He has opened for an impressively diverse range of national acts including Taj Mahal, Arlo Guthrie, Greg Brown, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Kasey Chambers, Jay Farrar, Patty Larkin, Marshall Crenshaw, and even surf-rock king Dick Dale - and has managed to win over all of their audiences. Alastair's musical style may be hard to classify, but it's undeniably easy to appreciate. There are two simple reasons: great songs and captivating performances. Moock writes tunes that are wise beyond his years. His lyrics are short on navel-gazing and long on wit, expounding on love lost and found and the struggles and gifts of daily living. The Boston Globe calls him 'one of the town's best and most adventurous songwriters' and The Washington Post declares 'every song a gem.' As a performer, Alastair consistently engages audiences with a style of humor and insight that Americana Radio chart-topper Slaid Cleaves has described as 'masterful.' Not content to simply serve up a laundry list of tunes, Moock mixes his own songs with spoken word pieces, stories from the road, and even a bit of American history, providing context for the traditional blues and ballads he includes in every performance. Moock spent his early musical years developing his sound in the folk haven of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1999 he reached a new level of recognition in the region when he began his critically-acclaimed traveling roots music series, Pastures of Plenty, which brings together top area singer-songwriters and roots musicians to jam on traditional American music. The series was called 'one of the hippest hootenannies in town' by The Boston Globe, and quickly became one of the region's most popular ongoing revues. By 2002, Moock had already toured extensively throughout the East and Midwest. In 2003 he began playing Europe, making two successful tours of Norway, the first of which included an appearance at the prestigious Bergen Music Fest, headlined by Neil Young. This fall, international roots label CoraZong Records will be re-releasing Alastair's latest album, Let it Go, in Europe and the United States. Originally released in late 2004 and produced by Michael Dinallo - founder and former guitarist for The Radio Kings (Rounder Records) - the album is a blend of neo-traditionalist Americana and stripped-down electric roots rock. The songs range in emotion from the mellow 'Red Ribbon Waltz' - a duet with guest Kris Delmhorst - to the percusive and lyrical 'Unwanted Guest' to the raucous title track. To date, Let it Go has received airplay on over 100 Americana and folk-formatted radio stations internationally and charted for eight consecutive weeks on the Roots Music Report Folk Chart. Worcester Magazine calls it 'one of the best roots music records to come out of New England in recent memory' and The Boston Herald included it in their Critics' List top ten albums of the year, saying 'Moock has become simply one of the top songwriters in the region.' So put Alastair Moock on whatever shelf you like - just make sure you give him a listen. Once you do, you'll be back for more.