Published Feb 01, 2006After spending the past few years out of the public eye, actor/comedian Rick Moranis has re-emerged in the guise of a country singer on a new album, The Agoraphobic Cowboy (out on Warner, Feb. 7). Although his retreat from mainstream films was a combination of bad scripts, and the need to raise his kids following the loss of his wife to cancer, Moranis never abandoned his love of making music, an aspect of his performing talents that was occasionally featured on SCTV. He says the songs grew out of his homelife in post-9/11 New York City, hence the title, but only came to fruition when producer Tony Scherr offered to make the album, enlisting other Toronto ex-pats like Chris Brown and Jason Mercer to help out.
"My kids were listening to a lot of bluegrass and jam bands, so I really started enjoying it too," Moranis says. "The thing I love most about country is its honesty and ability to tell stories. This wasn't intended to be a parody record; these songs just became an outlet for my writing." (Oddly, the album recently received a Grammy nomination in the comedy album category.)
While there are many hilarious moments, such as his re-tooling of Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere" as "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere," there are also bittersweet moments, like "Press Pound," that echo the work of Warren Zevon and Randy Newman. "It was only after we'd gotten into recording that I started to appreciate the cowboy myth and its spirit of adventure. If there's any overriding theme to the album, it's about how much adventure and new frontier I was able to discover at home."