Cockahoop

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
On her solo debut, former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews has largely left behind the brash Brit-pop that she cut her teeth on, replacing that somewhat dated sound with a more timeless one, rooted in folk and country-rock. Aside from a smart cover of the Handsome Family's "Weightless Again," the tenor of Cockahoop isn't exactly twangy; it's more akin to the burnished rusticity of Norah Jones's Feels Like Home. That's particularly true on agreeably soft-focus ballads like "All My Trials" and the poignant "Chardonnay." Matthews's voice, often likened to Marianne Faithfull's smoky rasp, still retains some of its rougher edges, as evidenced by the closing-time paean "If ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
On her solo debut, former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews has largely left behind the brash Brit-pop that she cut her teeth on, replacing that somewhat dated sound with a more timeless one, rooted in folk and country-rock. Aside from a smart cover of the Handsome Family's "Weightless Again," the tenor of Cockahoop isn't exactly twangy; it's more akin to the burnished rusticity of Norah Jones's Feels Like Home. That's particularly true on agreeably soft-focus ballads like "All My Trials" and the poignant "Chardonnay." Matthews's voice, often likened to Marianne Faithfull's smoky rasp, still retains some of its rougher edges, as evidenced by the closing-time paean "If You're Lookin' for Love" and the earthy Welsh-language allegory "Arglwydd Dyma Fi." But thanks in part to the steel guitar playing of longtime Dylan sideman Bucky Baxter who also produced the disc and in part to her own willingness to let down her guard, Matthews succeeds in sounding both strong and vulnerable -- and that's the strength of Cockahoop.
All Music Guide - MacKenzie Wilson
Cockahoop is an adjective defining someone who's extremely happy or excited about something. Cerys Matthews is definitely excited about something, and if the title of her debut album doesn't alone express that, the 13-song set of originals and traditional folk songs should do it. Three years since leaving Catatonia and moving beyond her celebrity-starved way of life, Matthews starts from scratch for her first solo album. Cockahoop is classic Cerys in the way the former pop star pin-up remains her quirky, sweet self; however, it's completely different from anything she's done with Catatonia. She's now a Nashville cowgirl, but don't assume Cockahoop is a country album. Producer Bucky Baxter Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan doesn't let Matthews fall into any one genre. She's such a vocal eccentric, she doesn't belong anywhere, but that's the beauty of her talent. While Baxter put the finishing touches on his recording studio in Whites Creek, TN, Matthews absorbed rustic conditions in the Southern backwoods. Having no running water, kitchen, or bathroom not only required her to savor her new, raw surroundings, it led to Matthews writing her most earnest and honest songs of her career thus far. Her newfound confidence can be enjoyed on the dynamic folk-flavored "Louisiana" and the bittersweet melody of "Only a Fool." Honoring her Welsh roots on the "Arglwydd Dyma Fi" hymn is true to her essence as an artist, but it's the high-spirited personal moments where Cockahoop truly shines. Cellos and acoustic guitars dance throughout the innocence of "Caught in the Middle" whereas a silvery interlude of violins leads to the high lonesomeness of "Ocean." She's quite thoughtful in her songwriting; her lyrics are simple and true to life. Even her versions of the Roger Cook-penned track "Chardonnay" and the Handsome Family's "Weightless Again" could be her own. Cockahoop wasn't meant to be Matthews' reinvention as an artist. It was about her making an album that meant something to her. Cockahoop is as pure as it comes. Any kind of expectation for Matthews to resume any kind of career in music won't withstand the goodness that is Cockahoop. Such a departure is far greater than anyone could have imagined for Cerys Matthews.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • Label: Rough Trade Us
  • UPC: 021823004723
  • Catalog Number: 30047

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Chardonnay (3:04)
  2. 2 Caught in the Middle (3:12)
  3. 3 Louisiana (2:21)
  4. 4 Weightless Again (3:02)
  5. 5 Only a Fool (2:47)
  6. 6 La Bague (0:40)
  7. 7 Miller of Hooterville (0:46)
  8. 8 Ocean (2:05)
  9. 9 Arglwydd Dyma Fi (3:35)
  10. 10 If You're Lookin' for Love (2:56)
  11. 11 The Good in Goodbye (3:05)
  12. 12 Gypsy Song (3:49)
  13. 13 All My Trials (3:11)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cerys Matthews Primary Artist
Lloyd Green Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar
Troy Johnson Background Vocals
Eric Darken Percussion, Marimbas, Vibes
Bucky Baxter Fiddle, Electric Guitar, Horn, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Vibes
Richard Bennett Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bazouki, national steel guitar, Banjo-ukelele, Hi String, Guitar (Baritone)
Ken Coomer Drums
Steven Herrman Trumpet
Jim Hoke Banjo, Clarinet, Harmonica, Autoharp, Bass Clarinet, Bass Flute, Horn, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Calimba, Pump Organ, Animal Sounds, Bass Harmonica, Bass Harp
Byron House Bass
Leslie Norton French Horn
Johnny O'Brien Organ
Dave Pomeroy Bass
Bobby G. Taylor Oboe
Bobby Taylor Oboe
Glenn Worf Bass
Jonathan Yudkin Fiddle, Violin, Cello, Viola, Mandocello, Bandolin
Carlton Crutcher Vocal Harmony
Ketcham Secor Banjo
Dawn Hartley Bassoon
Shianne Ragsdale Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Bucky Baxter Arranger, Producer, Horn Arrangements, Wind Arrangements
Chad Brown Engineer
Jim Hoke Horn Arrangements, Wind Arrangements
Johnny O'Brien Executive Producer
Cerys Matthews Arranger
Greg Fogie Engineer
Andrew Mendelson Mastering
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