As a dedicated Canadian troubadour, I'm guessing that Scott Cook has recently been forced to halt his relentless touring schedule due to the Covid restrictions. The inclusion of Scotty Dunbar's Why Am I Leaving My Home Again? on this, his seventh album, therefore has to put into a new context.
The singer song writer has certainly earned a rest as, in the past, he has averaged 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year. However, closing with an instrumental fiddle tune Right to Roam suggests he'll be back on the road as soon as it's safe.
The 12-track album was mainly recorded in Australia with an intercontinental string band - The She’ll Be Rights - consisting of Liz Frencham on upright bass and harmony vocals; Bramwell Park on banjo, mandolin, guitar, and harmony vocals; fiddlers Esther Henderson and Kat Mear, and Pete Fidler on dobro.
If you buy the vinyl version you will receive a 240-page, cloth-bound book telling the story of Cook's life-changing health crisis and his reflections on living in a society in crisis.
The songs themselves don't dwell on such topics with only Say Can You See hinting at political themes by addressing some of the divisions between the rich and the poor. Despite this, Cook makes it plain in the lyrics that "This is not a partisan song".
His focus lies primarily on the belief in the instincts for goodness and a faith that the values driven by empathy will prevail. This positive thinking prompted the composition of the self-explanatory Let Love Have Its Way and the choice of Dick Blakeslee’s 1940s activist anthem Passin’ Through which urges us all to "speak of love not of hate."
As Cook sings in the title track, he is "taking a wayward shot at love" and we can only hope that his aim is true.
Scott Cook's website