JOHN ANDREWS and YAWNS – ” Cook Book “

Posted: May 30, 2021 in MUSIC

A heavy dose of California chill beaming out from New Hampshire, John Andrews and his “band” The Yawns return with “Cook Book”, their follow-up to 2017’s Bad Posture, and an airy collection of laid-back country rock, gentle AM ballads, and breezy cantina instrumentals with more than a dose of Guaraldi-imbued jazz. Andrews is a communal artist: drumming in Quilt, playing keys in Woods, and generally lending a hand in projects such as Hand Habits, Cutworms, Widowspeak, and Kevin Morby.

His imaginary band “The Yawns” are back! Third time’s a charm. In hockey terms, they call it a “hat trick” and you know who’s always wearing a ratty old hat? John Andrews. Three years in the making and we have “Cook Book”, the third, and most colourful record from your favourite craftsman. Unknowing folks usually assume he lives in New York City or Los Angeles but confer with John for 5 minutes and if he’s in the right mood he’ll talk your ear off about the granite state & the old, seedy colonial barn where he’s tracked his records with his weird and wonderful friends

After a few more years of traveling here are about 9 or 10 new tracks, but who’s really counting? The lyrics are simple and endearing,  inspired by mid century love songs. “New California Blue” offers some of the album’s most elegant and freewheeling piano playing. As such, his sound emits a close-knit, homespun warmth, not unlike the familiar coziness that the album’s title suggests. 

In album stand out, “River of Doubt”, he sings “If I’m swimming in that river of doubt, won’t you pull me out?” It’s a similar yearn we’ve heard from groups of yesterday like The Shangri Las & The Mama’s Papas,  but it’s a distant, more contemporary interpretation. Johnny’s vocals are his own instrument. His tenor is mellow yet greatly confident. He doesn’t always sing though; instrumental track  “Song for the Gonz” provides a score to 90’s street skateboarder  Mark Gonzalez with a timeless, cartoon-like melody.  “Try” could be cut from the same cloth as Carol King’s piano demos. 

Released May 14th, 2021

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