Scott Cooley’s latest record, Used To Be Good Looking, is the 6th studio album he’s self-released on his independent label. Available in CD format from Amazon, and download from iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, and Spotify on June 21st, 2014, it contains 14 new original songs. The first half of the record is a little more mainstream, poppy, and commercial with shorter rock songs, whereas the last half finds Scott venturing into longer and more serious songs with hints of jazz, bluegrass, folk, and blues. Fans of the all-acoustic instrumentation, catchy melodies, and outstanding lyrics on his past releases will not be disappointed.
As far as live public performances go, he entertained attendees at Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters in 2012 at the Birchwood Inn in Harbor Springs as a solo act, and also headlined the annual Schmoopiepalooza Festival in 2013 at Pickerel Lake in northern Michigan as a duo with his lovely and talented wife Lenore on accordion. Scott’s recent experiences leading up to this release have included a few get-togethers with family and friends, a few days spent sailing, a few days spent skiing, walking the new golden retriever, Levi, and regular date nights with Lenore. Essentially a non-performing songwriter and recording artist, Scott wrote and recorded these songs over the course of a few weekends, and an hour or two on a few different weeknights sporadically in his basement “man cave” spare bedroom studio since his last release.
The Scott Cooley band has in the past included wife Lenore as guest studio musician (accordion, keyboard, marimba, flute, background vocals) and spiritual producer Lucky Cooley (sadly, he’s now in dog heaven). This album is different in that on the first 13 songs, there’s no one else on it, but Scott finally convinced Lenore to play right-hand-only accordion on the final track, “Smitten with the Mitten,” and thanks to her contribution, it’s a strong candidate for consideration of being designated as a state song for the state of Michigan. Levi wasn’t quite up to speed yet on production advice, so as a solo artist, one-man band, and do-it-all-yourselfer, Scott wore all hats involved this time, recording himself playing guitar, bass, marimba, harmonica, drums, percussion, and singing the vocals in East Lansing.
Scott’s fan interactions, aside from the aforementioned live performances, have been limited to only one or two announcements on his website, and several posts to his blog about his experiences with songwriting and music recording. One fan chimed in with excitement upon discovering the song Mackinac Island from the 2006 Lakeside Landing album, and her intention to share with her college friends and family members in Michigan, and sure enough, the online MP3 downloads increased for that song again. Another fan reached out to Scott to note that he loved the last album, Cherchez La Femme, and having been on hiatus from being a musician himself, felt inspired to get back into it.