Cool Water – I Am Cured
The formula for a folk pop duo with acoustic guitars has been a long staple of the music world and Simon and Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers and the Indigo Girls wrote the book on how to make it successful. Seattle based duo Cool Water are trying to put their own spin on the genre and with the release of their new album ‘I am Cured,” they honor the traditions of the past and embrace some new ideas. Talented guitarist and lead vocalist Brooke Pennock teamed up with lifelong friend, bass player Wendy McDowell to form an “acoustic off shoot” of her popular folk rock band. The pair wisely chose to enlist the services of Ryan Hadlock to produce and record the album at Bear Creek Studios.
The twelve song collection is a mixture of heartfelt original songs and cleverly reinterpreted covers and bonus live tracks. The opening track with its grooving riff mixing of acoustic guitar and acoustic bass, and defiant stance on the state of love draws instant comparisons to Mellissa Etheridge. The duo then takes on the sublime Anne Lenox ballad ‘Why,’ backing Pennock’s throaty alto with only clear ringing acoustic guitar chords to perfect effect of heightening the songs emotional build. The due then interweave their vocals and guitar lines on original tunes details the intricacies of love captured with sparkling tone by Hadlock. The final studio track is the playful reading of 80’s but rock classic “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The duo play it fairly straight with smart accapella vocal breaks, but somehow that riff turns a little bit country on acoustic guitars, and that aint a bad thing.
The album closes with four bonus live tracks that strive to give us a glimpse at the duo’s live show, but fall short of the brilliant tones and strength of the studio tracks, a tricky gamble that could go either way in the long run.
Rick J Bowen