Eli Cook (musician)

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Eli Cook
Eli Cook The Jefferson Theater Charlottesville VA July 2022.jpg
Performing at the Jefferson Theater (Virginia) on July 16, 2022.
Background information
Birth nameEli Hudnall Cook
Born (1986-04-24) April 24, 1986 (age 37)
Lynchburg, Virginia, United States
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instrument(s)
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active2000s–present
Labels
Websiteelicook.com

Eli Hudnall Cook (born April 24, 1986) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer. He is known for an eclectic style, with a focus on blues and blues rock. His deep, rich baritone voice and guitar playing have drawn widespread acclaim.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Cook was raised in the backwoods of Faber, Virginia, near the Blue Ridge Mountains.[2] Inspired by a lack of television and his parents' diverse record collection, he picked up the guitar at age 13, imitating the styles of Mississippi John Hurt and Fred McDowell.[3]

Two years later, he began performing acoustic blues at Rapunzel's Coffee House in Lovingston.[4] As a student at Monticello High School, his first power trio, 'The Red House Blues Band' (an apparent nod to Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? track), was formed with rotating membership.[5] By age 18, Cook was playing church revivals solo, and touring the bar scene with his band throughout central Virginia.[6] Because of this, he built a reputation as a prodigy of both electric and acoustic performance, and was often featured in local publications.[7]

Recent years[edit]

Cook plays gigs mostly around Virginia, and resides in Charlottesville.[8][9]

Playing B.B. King signed guitar in 2007

Noteworthy Appearances[edit]

Cook’s first break happened in 2007 when he was asked to open for B.B. King at multiple shows.[3] Since then, he has shared the stage with Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Robin Trower, Parliament-Funkadelic, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark, Jr., and Roomful of Blues.[2][3] He has performed on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts[2] and at the South by Southwest Festival in 2014.[1] Cook has also opened for John Mayall at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C.[10]

Performing with his band at the Primitive Son release party on April 30, 2014

Releases[edit]

Three of Cook's first four albums, Moonshine Mojo, Electricholyfirewater, and Static in the Blood, were independent releases that each displayed unique moods: guitar focused country rock, blues metal, and experimental R&B, respectively.

Valley Entertainment internationally reissued his 2005 recording, Miss Blues' Child, in 2007.[11] It included Cook's versions of Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me to Do" and Bukka White's "Fixin' To Die."[12]

2011 saw the release of Ace, Jack & King, which showcased a mix of the various genres for which he is known.

In 2013, Cook signed a recording contract with Cleopatra Records.[11] The ensuing album, Primitive Son (2014), contained guest appearances by Vinny Appice and Artimus Pyle (drums); Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales, Leslie West, Pat Travers and Harvey Mandel (guitar); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Rod Piazza (harmonica); and Reese Wynans (Hammond B3 organ). The album was co-produced by Greg Hampton.[13]

In August 2017, he released High-Dollar Gospel on the C.R. 8 Records label to a positive reception.[14]

Equipment[edit]

Cook performs solo on a resophonic guitar by National and a 12-string acoustic guitar made by Rockbridge Guitars in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both instruments are electrified supplementally. With the band, he plays a customized Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster.[15]

Acclaim[edit]

Cook's main strat: a fully customized 1950s reissue

Blues Matters! magazine featured Cook on the cover of its October/November (No. 86) issue. He was listed in its 2015 Writer’s Poll as the third most "Favorite International Blues Solo Artist."[16]

Most of his albums have been reviewed favorably in the press, including positive reviews in Vintage Guitar magazine.[17]

Leslie West said of recording with him, “I have heard quite a few guitar players that are young and just starting out. When I was asked to play a track with Eli Cook I wanted to see if there was something there. Believe me when I tell you THERE IS SOMETHING THERE! I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did playing on it. Eli is on his way!”[18]

Tinsley Ellis called him a “triple threat, obviously a great guitarist but also an emotive singer and an innovative songwriter. He’s in the vanguard of young, 21st-century blues rockers!”[1]

AllMusic stated in their review of Miss Blues' Child, "he has what it takes to be the best blues singer of his generation."[19]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • All Night Thing (2020)

Singles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Eli Cook – Primitive Son | Album Review". Blues Blast Magazine. 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Eli Cook". ReverbNation.com. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  3. ^ a b c Emma Schkloven. "Primitive son: Blues musician Eli Cook keeps the genre alive – The Burg: Cover Story". Newsadvance.com. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  4. ^ "Eli Cook | Moonshine Mojo | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  5. ^ Matthew Hirst (10 December 2003). "ELI COOK". The C'ville. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Blues Musician Eli Cook- Up Close And Personal Concert". Bowercenter.org. 2 December 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  7. ^ Vijith Assar (29 June 2006). "FACETIME- Eli's cooking: Teen blues sensation turns 20". The Hook. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  8. ^ Jerry Miller (24 June 2014). "6 Awesome Cville Shows In July". ilovecville.com. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  9. ^ Joseph McSpadden (22 November 2016). "Blues Man Rising: Talented Charlottesville Guitarist Eli Cook Is Turning Heads". styleweekly.com. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  10. ^ McSpadden III, J. M. (2014-11-25). "Eli's Cook is here and He's Making a Big Noise". No Depression. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  11. ^ a b "Bio". Elicook.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  12. ^ "Eli Cook". Puremusic.com. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  13. ^ "Primitive Son – Eli Cook | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  14. ^ Barry Kerzner (21 July 2017). "Eli Cook Delivers on 'High Dollar Gospel'". American Blues Scene. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  15. ^ Willie G. Moseley (April 2018). "Eli Cook". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  16. ^ "Eli Cook lands on Blues Matters' list of top international blues solo artists". The Daily Progress. 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  17. ^ "Eli Cook |". Vintageguitar.com. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  18. ^ "ELI COOK To Release New CD Featuring Appearances By LESLIE WEST, VINNY APPICE, PAT TRAVERS, More". Bravewords.com. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  19. ^ Chris Nickson (2005). "Miss Blues' Child". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

External links[edit]