As an artist who’s always sought creative control,
it’s not surprising actor/comedian Rick Moranis has stayed out of the public eye for the past several years. “I just wasn’t being offered many interesting projects from Hollywood,” he says.
For that reason, along with losing his wife to cancer, Moranis focused on making music, writing an album of country songs called The Agoraphobic Cowboy. He says the songs grew out of his home life in post-9/11 New York City—hence the title—but only came to fruition when producer/bassist Tony Scherr (Jesse Harris, Sex Mob, Bill Frisell) offered to record them, getting other top-notch musicians onboard.
“My kids were listening to a lot of bluegrass and jambands, 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.” While there are many hilarious moments, such as his retooling of Hank Snow’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” as “I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” there are also bittersweet moments, like “Press Pound,” that echo Warren Zevon.
“It was only after we’d gotten into recording that I started to appreciate the cowboy myth and its spirit of adventure,” Moranis says. 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.”
[The Agoraphobic Cowboy is available exclusively through rickmoranis.com.]