Rusty Willoughby is celebrating the release of his latest full-length, “Cobirds Unite,” featuring Seattle elite such as Rachel Flotard, Barrett Martin, Barb Antonio, Margrethe Bjorklund, Johnny Sangster, Scott Sutherland, Lisa King, and Tillman Herb.

A Pacific Northwest songwriting mainstay, Rusty Willoughby has been writing, recording, and performing music since 1982. Largely known for his work with the rock/pop bands Pure Joy, Flop, and Llama, Willoughby¹s mostly lo-key, often lo-fi and decidedly lo-electricity records have flown well under the radar for the last decade or so.

Influenced by everything from Woody Guthrie to Jacques Brel, Willoughby¹s solo output is peculiar, difficult to categorize and seemingly patterned after the most viscerally stubborn and commercially inept western minds and talents of the last century. Refreshing even, perhaps. Or not.

Meet the new album, “Cobirds Unite.” Herding a music consortium between cool waters and nourishing fields. Twenty first century bandmates make for the lushest outing yet. Barrett Martin, Barb Antonio, Margrethe Bjorklund, Rachel Flotard, Johnny Sangster, Scott Sutherland, Lisa King and Tillman Herb help to create an ethereal, natural unfolding topography.

Listen for more to come from this furry, hazy, damp, dark corner of the world, and you¹ll be hearing the oddly mellifluous sound of a weird and mysterious depth being plummeted.

“Rusty Willoughby offers up a dozen superbly written, subtle-emotive lonely journeys on his new album ‘Cobirds Unite.’ It is probably the best sounding roots-oriented album I have heard in some time, and that means a lot when you have a voice as sweet and true as Willoughby’s, backing vocals from Rachel Flotard, cello from Barb Antonio, a bunch of great picking and playing on various instruments by (producer) Johnny Sangster, and Tilman Herb on violin, among others. If you listen to this without ever checking out the CV of the man in charge, you won’t necessarily miss anything that’s great about it, as these songs seem as crisp and forlorn as any put to post since the glory days of crossover. But Willoughby has earned his solid reputation regionally ever since he fronted Pure Joy in the mid-80s, and proves on the terse and tender ‘Crown Of Thorns,’ ‘Where are The Knives,’ and the title track on ‘Cobirds Unite’ that he’s not just hustling faux hillbilly hoodoo.” – Three Imaginary Girls

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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