Americana soul singer James Cook recently released his sophomore album ‘Tall Tales of A Brown Buffalo’. Drawing inspiration from evocative stories around the Red River, the Wichita Falls, TX native’s penchant for superb narrative lyrics and riveting vocals delivers an impactful punch for this rootsy collection of songs that blends folk-rock, country and Southern blues hues with equal parts grit, sorrow and heart.
Recorded in Ft Worth, TX at Fort Worth Sound, ‘Tall Tales of a Brown Buffalo’ was produced by Bart Rose and features ten original songs all written by Cook. For this project, Cook enlisted a bevy of other artists and musicians to help out including Tim Maloney on bass guitar; Christopher Brackett on electric guitar; Damon Harris and Christian Dorn on drums; Jason Brown and Ramiro Noriega on lead guitar; Stacie Cook and Ground Floor & Rising on backing vocals; Drew Harakal on keyboard; Cameron Speed on harmonica; Heather Starcher-Stalling on fiddle; Bobby Texas on steel; Preston Lewis on saxophone; Zach Marley on trombone and Jordan Carr on trumpet.
“Trying to grow with every album means aiming for new ideas,” says Cook. “The previous project was peaceful and organic, so I wanted to create an album that had an energetic ‘live’ feel. Meeting so many musicians on the road and working at Fort Worth Sound meant having talented artists to use. Bart [Rose] is very keen on tone and overall sound. He did a magnificent job helping me bring these songs to life.”
Drenched in guitar-driven blues and Cook’s raspy vocals, the title track kicks off the album with a story about a Native American on the hunt for the tyrants who murdered his family. The album’s current single “Foaming At the Mouth” is a reflection of Cook’s life in his early 20s steeped in heartland rock influences.
Cook’s musical dexterity shines through on “Ellie” – a vibrant, jazz-tinged tune with impeccable horn arrangements while “That’s What I Tell Myself” confronts the weight of being a parent with melodic bluster. “Quick To the Punch” takes another thematic direction with a memorable toe-tapping, harmony-laden track about the parallels of addictive behavior.
Album closer “Waking The Dead” is a sparse ballad about a man looking over his shoulder for a ghost and keeping the listener guessing whether he’s haunted or mourning from a broken heart.