Recorded in 2005, just after California-born singer/songwriter Amy Cook relocated to the tiny town of Marfa, TX, The Bunkhouse Recordings is a live-to-tape solo album recorded in an old ranch bunkhouse. A sort of warm-up for Cook's first proper solo album, 2007's full band effort The Sky Observer's Guide, The Bunkhouse Recordings has a low-tech, demo-like feel with only Cook's warm, high-register vocals and simple, folkish guitar. As a result, the undeniably intimate recording (complete with extraneous noises in the background as songs begin and end) plays to Cook's vocal and lyrical strengths, but at the same time, the minimalism of the approach makes the uniformly strong songs sound a bit more alike than they really are. The Bunkhouse Recordings is perhaps best appreciated in small doses, a song or two at a time; for the complete neophyte or the folkie-phobic pop fan, the richly detailed The Sky Observer's Guide might be a better starting point.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason