Kristy Lee Cook’s new single, “Lookin’ For A Cowgirl” came out last week, and it sounds like it will bring this sexy, spirited, authentically country artist to a whole new level of success. With its twangy acoustics, driving guitars and attention-grabbing lyrics (and just a taste of country rap), “Lookin’ For A Cowgirl” is sure to please radio. The song from the former American Idol contestant (Season 7) and current Broken Bow recording artist is such a perfect fit that she better get used to performing it; it just might prove to be her first self-defining anthem and she just might have to sing it the rest of her career to keep fans happy.
With only one song in this week’s Billboard Country Top 20 from a solo female artist (Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water”), it is pretty obvious that these days, the ladies of country music have to work a little harder to get their music played than the gentlemen. I bet that’s just fine with Kristy — she’s always been as determined as anyone, and right now she’s got the product that will get her to the top.
The song, co-written with Bridgette Tatum (who wrote Jason Aldean’s big hit “She’s Country”), is an opportunity for country music fans to get to know Kristy Lee Cook even better because it’s a perfect match of artist and song. Kristy is a real cowgirl, and the way she delivers the song makes that clear (especially with a chorus like, “I’m camo, I’m ammo, I’m a country song on your radio… Yeah, sugar and spice sure makes it nice when you mix it with a little bit of fire and ice…”). It’s powerful stuff and the authenticity rings true in every note.
I had the pleasure of talking with Kristy about the new single recently. Here’s a little of our conversation…
Greg Victor (GV): Well, I must say, it’s a pleasure to talk to a female country artist. It’s such a male dominated genre and all…
Kristy Lee Cook (KLC): (laughing) Yeah, too much bro-country goin’ on, huh?
GV: (laughing) Ya think?… Well, let’s just start with “Who were the influences on your music”?
KLC: I grew up listening to Shania and Garth. Those were my two favorites growing up.
GV: When you were growing up, did you always want to be a country singer?
KLC: Always. As long as I can remember.
GV: Well, you did it! So let’s talk about your new single, “Lookin’ For A Cowgirl.” Can you tell me what defines “a cowgirl”?
KLC: I feel like cowgirls are country people… and country people are the kind of people who you can depend on, you know? They’re very loyal, give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back kind of people. Being a cowgirl is very much the same thing, but maybe a little tougher kind of girl — the kind of girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She can go out on a Friday night and act like a lady, and then on Saturday morning she can be out there getting dirty. She’s an all around kind of girl, who’s not afraid to stand her ground, and who will have your back and be one of the most loving, caring people out there.
GV: You sound like you know her pretty well.
KLC: I feel like that’s what a cowgirl is to me, because all the girls that I know are cowgirls and they’re all of those things. My best friend, Jessi, is half my size… she’s a tiny feisty thing, but she’s tough! She’s full of piss and vinegar, but she also has her soft, sensitive side. She’s usually up for anything and will try anything at least once, you know… kind of like that — that defines a cowgirl.
GV: Have you found that it takes a certain type of man to fully appreciate a cowgirl?
KLC: I think there is a variety of men who can appreciate her. A cowgirl can come off a bit intimidating, because half of the girls can do more than a lot of men can… (laughing)… you know? It’s true… But a lot of the time it takes an outdoorsy girl to get a guy out there and to get him interested in that kind of thing… and then, that starts a whole new world for the man. I’ve dated guys in the past that weren’t into the outdoors, but at one point we switched things around — they taught me about their world and I taught them about mine, and they really grasped on to the outdoor world. I don’t think it takes a certain kind, because I’ve seen different kinds of men appreciate a cowgirl.
GV: I must say, Kristy, it’s exciting to hear a singer discuss their song with such depth and clarity.
KLC: Well, what you asked is an important question to me, because I’m being the artist that I’ve always wanted to be.
GV: Tell me about that…
KLC: I’m finally getting to be, as an artist, who I really am, which is a cowgirl and a country girl. I just hope that the song does what it is capable of doing and that it has a chance, because it’s so hard to break through as a female artist. And what is country music? This is a cowgirl song. Yeah, it’s got a little bit of a talk, or a rap, in it, but people wouldn’t even think twice about it if it were coming from a man. And you don’t think country girls listen to a little bit of talk stuff, or rap stuff… or have in their day? I’m just trying to help break the ice, I guess.
GV: The rap in the song is a lot of fun. It doesn’t happen until two minutes in and by then it’s more about cutting to the chase and making a point. By then, your singing has earned the right for the talking to take over for a few seconds. It’s just a more streamlined continuation of the storytelling.
KLC: Thank you. That means a lot.
GV: You enjoyed co-writing the song with Bridgette Tatum…
KLC: Definitely! We ended up hitting it off and we became great friends. We write so much stuff together now — if this song does well, we’ll probably end up writing the next single together, too. You have to find someone that’s very similar to yourself and it’s great to be able to hit it off with another writer like her.
GV: What can fans do to help the song do well… so that we can all hear that next single?
KLC: It’s just a matter of getting radio stations to add the song and play it. If a station doesn’t add it to their rotation, then the song doesn’t get played on that station. So it’s really important for people to call their local radio stations and request “Lookin’ For A Cowgirl,” if they like the song. The more they do, the more the song will get played.
GV: Well, it’s a great song… what would you say makes a great country song?
KLC: What makes a great country song is: the voice, the lyric and the person singing it. I love it when there is someone who is singing in a genre that’s true to who they are… and telling a story that is real to who they are as a person — telling a story that they’ve actually lived. Kind of like Chris LeDoux. Or Jason Aldean, you know, who’s out in the outdoors. It just makes it more real. They live country and they breathe country and then they’re singing about it. That just makes it more real to me.
GV: Well, it sounds like you’re taking your own advice with this song. It’s been a pleasure talking with you and finding out just why the song has that authentic, straight-from-the-source quality that it clearly has.
KLC: Oh, thank you so much.