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Cook-Lamborn - Looking Back
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

I recently received a note from Nancy Cook. Nancy is the wife, and, as she tells me, the promoter, booking agent and “believer” in husband Ray Cook’s duo, Cook-Lamborn. In her note, which accompanied the album, Looking Back, she asked a simple question. “Please take a listen, and let me know what you think… I believe this CD is equal to the major artists.”

Ray Cook and Matt Lamborn met in ’95, as fate would dictate, in a music store in Newburgh, New York. Admiration for each others’ playing styles quickly turned to friendship, and so formed a duo, who for the last decade has seen them honing their craft and paying their dues. The collective wish from day one was to make an album. Not just an album of covers and hooky radio possibilities, rather, an album that would showcase their talents as writers and musicians. Their self-produced album, Looking Back, with its 14 generous tracks, now realizes their effort, time and talent.

While the album doesn’t power with the vibrancy of a Brooks and Dunn extravaganza, this New York-based duo, in their own polished way, deliver trumps on their debut. Their playing, Lamborn plays lead guitar while Cook backs up on rhythm, is tight, and their writing, well captured in crafted lyrics telling of Jesus, love, loss and the way back, shows promise.

But the real pull with Cook-Lamborn lies in Ray Cook’s voice. Made for country – buffed with a polished gruffness, he nails the needed range of ballads and up-tempo tracks with an even, melodic range that appeals from the first listen. Whether his belting out the rock-edged “Somewhere She Went Wrong”, or lazily working through the bluesy ramblings of “Home”, or probing the eternal question of “What If Jesus Came Back”, he doesn’t shy from embracing his lyrics with sensitivity and power.

In their liner notes the boys suggest that on this album there’s something for everybody. It’s a wide blanket to throw, but the guys cover most of the bases. Their style is more coffee shop than arena, but these guys share an obvious passion for the music they make and the songs they write. It comes across in tunes like “Into The Bottle”, the heart-on-sleeve honesty of “Looking Back I Tried” and the ache of goodbye on ‘Walk Away Now”.

The album gets double thumbs up from me. It’s easy listening. It’s enjoyable, and the guys hold out enough promise to have me back for their next outing on CD. 

Good news, Nancy. You were right

Seeing Something New song list:

To purchase the CD online just click on the album cover on the left. 
1. Somewhere She Went Wrong 
2. Fields Of Gold 
3. Home 
4. Elijah 
5. The Story 
6. Into The Bottle 
7. Brandi’s In Love
8. You’ll Have That 
9. Looking Back I Tried 
10. Walk Away Now 
11. You Called My Name 
12. See The Ways 
13. What You Do To Me 
14.What If Jesus Came Back 

Related Links:
www.Cook-Lamborn.com - Official Site

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