Rusty Willoughby: Cobirds Unite

Rusty Willoughby
Cobirds Unite
(Local 638 Records)

You may not know the name Rusty Willoughby unless you were or are a diehard follower of the Northwest music scene. Before going solo, Willoughby made a name for himself in the seminal ’80s band Pure Joy and later on in the ’90s with his other band Flop.

Now, with several solo records untder his belt, Willoughby enlists some Seattle heavyweights to back him on his stunning latest – Cobirds Unite.

Enlisting Barrett Martin (Big High, Mad Season, Screaming Trees), Rachel Flotard (Visqueen), former Pure Joy bandmate Lisa King and producer Johnny Sangster among others, Willoughby has created a beautiful summer album which conjures images of cool summer streams, lush green fields and bright blue skies.

With a low key and lo-fi structure, Cobirds Unite is refreshingly unconventional in its ghostly soundscapes, but not so much that the listener is turned off. In fact, Willoughby pens such great lyrics it is like you’ve known him forever.

None of the dozen tracks on this offering standout, but there is also no filler; it;s just a dozen songs that are all equally as good. Sure there is no “hit single” here, but that’s not even the point. Everything about Rusty Willoughby’s Cobirds Unite is perfection, from the production to the talented backing musicians to Willoughby himself. This album can easily stand up to any bigger releases of 2010 and knock them on their asses and, frankly, it should be that way. Beautiful record Rusty, just beautiful.