Following up on the April 2021 release “Le Cœur Sec” (entirely in french), Jay Ryan, singer guitarist of Jay and the Cooks, is back with a new album DRIED UP DREAMS, entirely in English this time, his native language. The album is a collection of 9 original Rock and Blues songs along with “I Just Came to Tell You That I’m Going” a cover of “Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais”, by Serge Gainsbourg.
In Interview: Jay Ryan tells us his inspirations for this album:
The idea for the album came about because Jay wanted to talk about his experience as an immigrant. Grouping songs with a blues feel sprinkled with country music reminds him of the country of his younger years, DRIED UP DREAMS alludes to various subjects going from simple pleasures such as reading or the cuisine to politics with some protest songs and the people around him. One of the album’s attractions are the heavy, imposing drums and bass that reminds one the 70’s.
Most of the musicians who accompany Jay Ryan on the record are expatriates, like himself, originally from The United States but have been residing in France. The lineup is incredible because they have played with the likes of Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, Tony Allen, Ray Lema, Eliott Murphy, Jeff Healey, Jim Murple Memorial, Barry “The Fish” Melton.
In Review: DRIED UP DREAMS by Jay and the Cooks is a delightful as well as insightful album of personal reflections and living in another world, one that is both familiar and also far from home. This album has an abundance of joyful musings that stay in the mind and in the heart. Jay and the Cooks have really come forward with an amazing collection of talented and creative works. I would like to bring forward my opinion of the tracks that have a resonance with me and really stand out.
Right of the bat, the first track, Alton McCarver hits you, a big and beefy drum rhythm with bluesy guitar riffs takes you into a smokey daydream, more of a story narration than just a song, definitely the best way to open the album. I love the track Chew the cud, it has a southern rock / Rockabilly influence, and the lyrics, again, are amazing, full of life.
Deaf water, for me, is a great transitional piece, classically composed blues with a smidgen of attitude, great music and smooth flow. Organic lush is a funny piece of work, it has a wired sense of comparisons in the lyrics “get high as a kite and live to one hundred and 3” it kind of pokes fun at healthy living and drinking in moderate excess. From the title, you would think that the song Dried up hearts would be a sad song, and lyrically, there is some sad points, but it is a romp with the blaze of happy notes, and New Orleans Zydeco tempos, bit hit here, and you just want to raise a glass to it. The album ends with a hard rocking song titled Confederate son, this song definitely pays tribute to the roots of Jay and the Cooks humble beginnings.
I really enjoyed reviewing this new album DRIED UP DREAMS by Jay and the Cooks, it is bold and impressive yet humble and unpretentious, the lyrics are strong and touching, the music, just sublime. Definitely one for your music collection and one to share with the world.
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