THE DEAL: Charlotte resident Bailey Cooke releases her first full-length album, follow-up to debut EP.
THE GOOD: The album kicks off with the finger-picking lo-fi sound of "Terrible." Cooke shows a bit of her range and emotion on the song, setting the tone for the original and traditional tunes which will follow. "1st of September" tells a somber tale backed by pedal steel. "Tell Her to Come Back Home" is a traditional song driven forward by finger-picking on the banjo. Her sparse style allows the listener to focus on lyrics and the stories being told. David Mayfield offers harmonies at the right moments. It's not all slow as she picks up the pace on "Preston Finley," a tale of the last man hung in Johnson County, Tenn. She also offers an interesting take on the traditional "Cocaine Blues," which was also done by Keith Richards and Bob Dylan
THE BAD: It's nice to hear her take on some unfamiliar traditional songs, but originals are usually preferred.
THE VERDICT: Cooke has a soothing vocal style, classic country-folk music sound and ease with which it is all delivered. There's nothing flashy or complex needed when the talent is solid.