Performing in Bethlehem, New Hampshire,
November 19, 2016
|Eli Hudnall Cook|
April 24, 1986 |
Nelson County, Virginia, United States
|Singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer|
|Labels||C.R. 8 Records|
Eli Cook (born April 24, 1986) is an American blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer. Cook has released six albums before his 30th birthday.
AllMusic noted that Cook "has what it takes to be the best blues singer of his generation."Blues Matters! stated that Cook is "among the top 3 solo blues artists world-wide." His main influences came from the work of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine.
Eli Cook was born in Nelson County, Virginia, United States. He learned to play the guitar by the age of 13, while growing up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His professional career commenced by performing acoustic blues at Rapunzel's Coffee House in Lovingston, Virginia, just two years later.
Cook was playing community centers and churches by the age of 16. As he recalls:
I was too young to play in bars. But playing around the area opened doors for me and I got invited to play some tent revivals. Here was this skinny long-haired white kid playing old spirituals in front of a mostly black congregation. Later, when I was older, I got to play in a trio in bars, and get paid for it. I guess you get paid in the afterlife for singing gospel.
Cook has shared stage with Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Robin Trower, Parliament-Funkadelic, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark, Jr., and Roomful of Blues. Cook also performed on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He performed at the South by Southwest Festival in 2014. Cook has opened for John Mayall at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C.
His 2007 release, Electricholyfirewater, was a heavier blues rock affair. Valley Entertainment issued Miss Blues'es Child in 2007, which included Cook's versions of Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me to Do" and Bukka White's "Fixin' To Die."Static in the Blood followed in 2009.
In 2013, Cook signed a recording contract with Cleopatra Records. Cook's, 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 Cook.
In August 2017, Eli released High-Dollar Gospel on his own C.R. 8 Records to rave reviews from American Blues Scene to No Depression and Vintage Guitar. The album was a blend of his love of country pickers to blues rockers and old covers from Muddy Waters and Roosevelt Sykes that have been in his live shows for years. His cover of Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" is a stand out as well.
Blues Matters! magazine featured Cook on the cover of its October/November (No. 86) issue. He was listed in third place in Blues Matters! 2015 Writer's Poll, as the Favorite International Blues Solo Artist.Ace, Jack & King (2011) was reviewed in Vintage Guitar magazine.
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, 21-year-old firebrand Eli Cook could have bragging rights, as his scarifying solo-country blues chill like a hellhound on your trail.-- David Rubin, Guitar Player
On the seventh album of his career the phenom from Nelson County, Virginia reins in his inner guitar god and makes his most focused roots blues album yet. High-Dollar Gospel finds Cook showcasing his acoustic mojo and the result is the most satisfying record of his career.-- Joe McSpadden, No Depression
"What Eli is doing is giving an authenticity to the blues, but giving it the energy a modern rock band would give it. That's the key to it."-- Arnie Goodman, Elmore Magazine
"Everything I do is always deeply rooted in classic blues -- meaning the feeling of it and the music theory aspect of it. It's especially rooted in what they call pre-war blues, the more acoustic, rootsy stuff."-- Eli Cook
Eli Cook performs on a resophonic guitar by National and a 12-string acoustic guitar made by Rockbridge Guitars in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both instruments are electrified supplementally. He adds percussion with his right foot on a hand cymbal/tambourine positioned on a metal case. His left foot beats out a bass drum rhythm on an "improvised stomp box"--an empty guitar case "with a mic inside it." He sings in a "rich baritone" in the Southern tradition.
His voice is booming, and he picks a 12-string as easily and fluidly as he does the resonator.-- J. M. McSpadden, III, No Depression