Best New Children's Music 2012 / OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Alastair Moock – A Cow Says Moock CD Review


The Sound: Sophisticated silliness.  True family music, in the spirit of Seeger and Guthrie.  Goofy, touching, sincere and reflective…and also not shying away social issues (“Two Mommies), “A Cow Say Moock” is grown up kid’s music for all age groups.

In the Cafeteria, He Sits With: Peter Himmelman, Randy Kaplan, Ellis Paul, Joe Cocker

Best Moments: Moock’s incredible voice is like a ride in a beat-up pickup truck down a long, dusty country road with the windows rolled (yes, actually rolled) down, nothing but blue sky above and waving fields of wheat flanking you.  That may or not make much sense, but it’s what I think of when I hear him sing.  His voice is rough, expressive and exercises a tight grip on the listener.  His vocals are best appreciated on Taj Mahal’s “Fishin’ Blues”, with it’s Randy Kaplan-esque guitar noodling laying the foundation for Alastair to sing “many fish bite if you’ve got good bait” and “bet your life your sweet wife she gonna catch more fish than you”, words that probably sound better coming out of his mouth than anyone else’s (including, for my money, even Taj Mahal’s).   Moock’s take on Woody Guthrie’s “Ship in the Sky”- a melancholic, occupational ode to parents and the jobs we take to provide for our children – is positively gorgeous.  “Ship in the Sky” is classic Guthrie, a virtual ‘it takes all kinds’ song pointing out that whether you work with your hands or have the skill of a pilot, everyone is useful and necessary to make the world spin.   “Twins Are Twice As Fun”, a Moock original, is essential listening for anyone with a twin as well as for parents of ’em.  You’ll be pleased to know that the song isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.  Instead, Moock examines both sides of the coin fairly when it comes to having a twin to share your stuff with, “which means nothing is yours which proves that life’s unfair”, and “self-releasing twins”, as Alastair and his wife did a few years back.

Bonus Thoughts: Moock is giving away a couple songs, one a karaoke version of an album track, the other a new take on an old favorite.  Go get ’em here.

Moock and his twin daughters (photo credit: Mara Brod)

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: Like Himmelman’s “My Trampoline”, Alastair Moock’s debut family album is a classy, stunning work.  His gravely voice is the perfect match for this batch of goofball tunes about belly buttons, having spaghetti in your shoe, chickens roosting and animal sounds, yet his best work comes when the material gets slightly more serious but no less fun.  Moock’s 7 original tunes blend effortlessly with 4 covers to make a very complete and satisfying record.  I’m inserting “A Cow Says Moock” into my running top 10 list for 2010…you should be inserting it into your CD player.

Sample all the tunes, and buy the CD, here.

*Alastair Moock’s “A Cow Says Moock” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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