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Cookin’ up something new 

Ryan Cook’s country-western music takes a modern twist at the New Music showcase.

Ryan Cook leans into novelty.
  • Ryan Cook leans into novelty.

"It's the thinking man's country music," says Ryan Cook, one of three acts featured at the Casino's New Music Friday showcase (Norma MacDonald and The Darlingtens also share the stage). "Or maybe country-western music for the modern world." Cook's brand of country marries traditional music---his sound is inspired by the '50s to '70s---to contemporary themes. "I'm trying to make music that is the music I fell in love with," says Cook. His new album, Wrestling with Demons, takes that classic sound and switches it up, with songs like "Facebook Waltz" (a stalking tale) or "Children of the Corn" (an ode to the genetically-modified vegetable). "It has a real novelty feel to it. Which maybe isn't what people want to do artistically but for me, my favourite country artists like Little Jimmy Dickens made a career doing that." When it comes down to it though, he's really just trying to entertain himself. "I want to do something different," he says. "And write something I get a kick out of."

Friday, March 22, 9pm, New Music Friday, Harbourfront Lounge, Casino Nova Scotia, 1983 Upper Water, free

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