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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Eli Cook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eli Cook. Show all posts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Eli Cook Delivers A Musical Whiplash With High-Dollar Gospel Out On 8/18

Eli Cook Delivers A Musical Whiplash With New Album
High-Dollar Gospel
Out August 18 On C.R.8 Records Label Debut
“Mystifying” – John Mayall

“Everybody knows the story of the crossroads, where blues guitarists go at midnight to trade their souls to the devil for musical prowess. It’s just a myth, of course, but if it were true, firebrand Eli Cook could have bragging rights, as his scarifying solo-country blues chill like a hellhound on your trail.” -  Guitar Player (2007)

Eli Cook is a mystifying soul. He’s a keen observer, a provoking thinker and has swagger.

All under that messy blonde hair is a passionate heart with fingers of silver and gold that recalls John Lee Hooker, Chris Smither, and Chet Atkins, mixed in with a dirty, grungy sound. It’s clean playing mind you; it’s just his fingers are covered in the dirt left over from the crossroads.

High-Dollar Gospel preaches a high voltage bolt to your ears and shakes you loose.

Coming from Albemarle County in Virginia at the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Eli Cook grew up listening to the blues, country, classic rock and alternative rock. He grew up with no TV and radio shows like Prairie Home Companion were his Saturday night entertainment. Life moves slowly in this rural area of the world giving him time to hone his skills with his voice and guitar chops. At 18 he was opening up for B.B. King – a few years later he’s playing in Canada – and then the next week he’s blending in with his hometown locals. Talent like this shouldn’t go unnoticed, and Eli has been smoldering in the underbelly for far too long.

“It’s what was around me, and I just tried to pick up on everything and everybody, including Doc Watson and Chet Atkins. In fact, hearing Chet fingerpick made me realize I didn’t need a band.” (Source: Guitar Player 2007)

Produced by Eli Cook at Full Moon Recording Studios in VA, High-Dollar Gospel opens up with a slow bang with “Trouble Maker” – taunting and questioning his muse to join him.  Acoustic picking and slide drive the classic hoedown backs the cautionary tale “The Devil Finds Work.” The haunting “Mixing My Medicine” contains the cavernous sound of a detuned custom 12-string guitar; an instrument played famously by Leadbelly and Blind Willie McTell.  Cook slows down Muddy Waters’ melancholy “Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” into a terrifying, heart of darkness lament, his voice reaching a bottomless depth of sorrow. The orchestral 12-string guitar underscores the metaphoric boast of “King Of The Mountain” that shows off Eli’s huge growl of a voice with its anthem-like chorus is a showstopper.

“Got my spirit vision mama, she's callin’ me
head-on collision when a heart runs free
when I'm high, lordy people, don't nobody mess me round
I seen every kind of evil; got to get on out this town” – King Of The Mountain

High-Dollar Gospel isn’t all balls to the wall, for his take on “44 Blues” is a brilliantly inventive version of Howlin’ Wolf’s classic propelled by his tapping foot. Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” is made less declamatory than the original as Cook slows and lightens his approach without losing the romantic heat. He again flashes his slide accompaniment skills on the jaunty “Month Of Sundays” in a poetic entreaty to a paramour. (Click on Eli’s face for an acoustic performance of “Month Of Sundays”)

Eli Cook explains his album title as “I was brainstorming ideas that would evoke the imagery of the American South. The phrase ‘high-dollar’ is an old one, and ‘gospel’ is the Southern church music that brought us Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and countless other iconic musicians. The two phrases together can have several connotations, but the one I think of is the feeling of disillusionment that seems to be more and more pervasive. I think a lot of young people feel a sense of apathy and a loss in direction, generally speaking. People need inspiration, and it seems like that is becoming harder to come by.”

“He’s in the vanguard of young, 21st-century blues rockers!” – Tinsley Ellis

The growl in his voice shows off an emotional connection to the music as a tool rather than decoration, and with your eyes closed, you could be listening to Howlin’ Wolf or Chris Cornell. On Aug. 18with High-Dollar Gospel, Eli shows you what you can’t imagine, something so strong and melodic, so don’t be afraid to look and listen.

“Artists often talk about the blues as a living and growing thing and not just a style of music fit for museums. Cook puts that theory into practice and moves things forward.” - Slant Magazine

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cleopatra Records artist: Eli Cook - Primitive Son - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (April 29, 2014), Primitive Son, from Eli Cook and it's a rockin, snarling blues guitar release. Opening with War Horse, Cook and gang (Wade Warfield on drums and Rob Richmond on bass) crank up a Led Zep feel with a southern twist. It has a mesmerizing groove and cool guitar riffs. Revelator has a bit more pop to it adding Vinny Appice (drums), Jorgen Carlsson (bass and B3) and Steffen Presley and Greg Hampton on backing vocals. Sweet Thang has a slinky sound and features Tinsley Ellis on additional guitar. High In The Morning, a southern influenced track features Sonny Landreth on some slick slide work. Reese Wynans adds some Vocals remind me quite a bit of Black Label Society. Won't Be Long is a real nice little acoustic ballad featuring Cook on acoustic slide and vocal. Motor Queen steps out with real attitude... a club swingin blues rocker with Leslie West joining on guitar. This track has a lot of attitude and is one of my favorites on the release. Be Your Fool, still with more of a rock blues swagger, features Rod Piazza on harp but certainly has more of the flavor of Led Zep, Skynyrd or G&R than the old masters but still quite entertaining. Swing A Little Harder is a stripped down track with only Cook on vocal, bass and guitar and Wade Warfield on drums. A blend of spoken lyrics and heavier rock gives it a different style sound. Again the closest thing that I can compare it to is BLS. With interesting guitar riffs and a solid beat... cool track. Shake The Devil Down is consistant with the bulk of the release with solid vocals and well executed guitar riffs over a solid bottom. Tall & Twisted is again accompanied by acoustic guitar and understated drums by Warfield and bass from Rob Richmond. Modern country blues. The Great Southern Love Kill has a hotter flame featuring Artimus Pyle on drums and Pat Travers on additional guitars. A more straight up blues rocker and an easier melody actually brings this track across a bit more crisply. Smokin hot guitar riffs on this track break the uneven but consistent drum rhythms. Amphetamine Saint has a real blues rock swagger. I like Cook's vocal style more on this track and guitar heavy Eric Gales adds nicely to the mix. Title track, Primitive Son, is more vocal heavy with instruments more in the back. A straight forward blues rocker, this track definitely demonstrates the relationship between blues and progressing metal. Wrapping the track is Burying Ground, a heavy blues rocker with interesting guitar work and a heavy drum beat. Cook is carving out a niche for himself in this heavy blues rock/metal sound and I'm certain he will find a strong audience.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Eli Cook - Ace, Jack & King

I just received the new release, Ace, Jack & King by Eli Cook and it's really smokey. The recording opens with Death Rattle, one of 9 original tracks on this release. I really like this track which conjures up the feeling of the back country south and ancient blues.The band consists of Cook on vocal, guitar and mandolin; Brian "Boogie" Thomas on bass; Wade Warfield on drums, percussion and hand claps and Wavorly Milor on harmonica. Please, Please has the feel of a country blues with simple acoustic guitar, slide and tambourine and Cooks deep rich voice. Snake Charm has a rockier blues but raw sound. Plugged in with simple rhythm, driving grinding guitar, solid bass, drums and screaming harp. This is a very cool modern interpretation of ancient blues. Skip James' Catfish Blues is up next. This track is literally an acoustic guitar, tambourine and Cook's deep rich voice. Although a startling difference from Skip James voice, Cook has a very strong melodic voice. Draggin' My Dogs is a much more contemporary track, still stripped down to it's simplest elements of acoustic guitar, vocal and percussion but lending itself nicely to commercial airplay with a smart melody and hook. Afrossippi Breakdown is really a bluesy folk tune and very strongly written and performed. Sugar and Rain, another track which has a more contemporary sound but again retaining the open feel of the country. Resonator and acoustic guitar along with simple drumming and vocals. The classic Driftin' gets a slower and more soulful treatment with squakin' harp and tom drumming supporting Cook's voice and a cool slide solo. Porter Irving's Cocaine Blues gets a pretty straight forward cover with Cooks massive voice set into a small environment processor. This has an interesting effect as well as the resonator work that accompanies it. Skip James' Crow Jane is brought forward with "Bonham" like drums and solid rock rhythms. Cook on electric guitar and vocals, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Suicide King has a much more heavy undertone with acoustic finger picking but with minor chord melody and contemporary rock style drumming. Nick Drake's Black Eyed Dog gets a very eastern folk oriented cover with only vocal, percussion and guitar. Death Rattle (slight return) is done electric style and has a resemblance to Come Together if performed by Black Label Society. It's actually quite cool. I really think that this cd is interesting. It has a little taste of a number of things and the things I like a bit I like a lot.  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Manish Boy - Eli Cook

Eli Cook grew up on the blues: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, the Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Mississippi John Hurt. He first picked up the guitar when he was fourteen, and began his own performance career playing vintage blues, gospel shows, and revivals in Nelson County, Virginia when he was fifteen. His first electric trio, The Red House Blues Band, was formed in 2002 while a junior at Monticello Highschool. Eli was called a 'blues phenomenon' by reviewers in near-by Charlottesville: "Featuring fast-fingered guitar and a powerful voice beyond his years, Cook doesn't need any Robert-Johnson-style pact with the devil to take him to the top."
Influenced by the songs of R.L.Burnside, Bukka White, and Son House, he recorded Miss Blues'es Child at The Sound of Music Studios In Richmond Virginia in a single autumn day, playing a borrowed 12-string and his own old Gibson, accompanying himself with a kick-drum or a tambourine tied to his boot. Patrick McCrowel, a talented friend from Greene County, stopped by to sing harmony and pick banjo on a few cuts, spontaneous and unrehearsed. Eli called it ", blue, blues;" reviewers called him "...a young gun with an old soul...storming through banged-up slide guitar romps, tackling the storied form with the mean streak of his generation's metal men."
His band, christened ElectricHolyFireWater, opened for legendary guitarist Johnny Winter, Room Full of Blues ,and Shemekia Copeland. He chose African percussionist Darrell Rose to perform with him on The Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, electrifying an audience of 300 with his own special brand of African Rhythm and American Blues, and he opened for B.B. King solo at The Paramount Theatre in February of 2007.
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