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Hitting the road with Ryan Cook 

The country singer releases his sophomore album after road trips between Halifax and Nashville, all while finding his own space.

Yarmouth native Ryan Cook is going it alone. When he first started working as a full-time musician four years ago, Cook played with backing band Sunny Acres (now The Stanfields, see page 19 for their plight to get home), and remembers "that kind of a show: a very schticky, kind of retro thing." But with the release of Cook's sophomore album, Peaks & Valleys, he's taking it solo. "It's a lot more jazzy and folk and roots stuff---but it'll always be what it is, it'll always be me, even if it sounds a little less country than it used to." The album has a more intimate, one-on-one feel, recorded in Nashville, mixed in Halifax and featuring Laura Merrimen and the talents of Nashville artists that include Alison Brown and Andy Leftwich. Cook's frequent, rolling-hill car trips from the east coast to Nashville (he hates flying) helped title the album, and though Cook says Nashville calls to him with its talented country artists and the simple fact that it's "the country music capital of the world," he keeps coming back home---though not too often. "I rarely play in Halifax, and I guess when I do I space them out far and few between so I can have a good show and not over saturate the market. For me, it's more about getting into all the rural communities." Help Cook kick off one of those rare shows tonight at his CD release.

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