“Lean, mean, gritty demeanor” – American Blues Scene
Hits Like A Haymaker with
“ALL NIGHT THING”
3 Song EP – Out June 5, 2020
Guitars blaze amid powerhouse – Southern songwriting to usher in the most exciting chapter yet for the young Blues rocker.
Eli Cook draws a line between blues-rock-grunge on new music: and it’s wicked.
“I want this record to sound like John Fogerty and Billy Gibbons forced Scott Weiland to listen to Chuck Berry and Bill Haley records for a week and then had a jam session. It’s meant to be a call back to the earliest era of blues-based rock ‘n’ roll, yet undeniably influenced by the latter gods of Southern songwriting. And as always, the grunge giants that embody extreme attitude and energy because it has to have the swagger to the nines and make people move compulsively.”– Eli Cook, 2020
All Night Thing is the new three-song EP from Eli Cook, the tall, lanky guitarist with golden guitar fingers and a voice of the past. The new songs are full of swagger and tall tales of love, lust, and guitar riffs to outlast Keith Richards. The blues haven’t left Mr. Cook; he’s still got ’em; they just went and got hitched with country and rock in the middle of the night.
This three-song EP (out June 5) was produced by Eli and Mike Moxham recording at a home recording studio in Virginia with Mike Poole mixing. The album was mastered by Eric Conn (Garth Brooks) at Independent Mastering in Nashville, TN. All songs are written by Eli himself and all the guitar/bass parts along with Nate Brown and Chuck Crenshaw on drums.
Over the years, Eli has always been known for two things; his singing voice and his guitar playing both are aging well. Both talents have grown over the years, and his perspective has always been different, a little tattered, filled with observational humor, a little wordplay, and a whole lot of truth. Eli cites the Bible, Shakespeare, and the gaze of the Mona Lisa in “All Night Thing,” and he always goes back to what the women want: a little bit of attention:
“Mona Lisa with your grin, my knees are weakening, I give up
Your temptations got my patience wearin’ out and feelin’ rough
Picture perfect, yes indeed it’s true
But your reds will leave a fella blue
And I knew you would be trouble, but I didn’t know just how much.”
“Sweet Jane Octane” is about a high drama female that he had a hard time shaking off. It’s got a blues shuffle, a country melody, and rocker’s attitude:
“She was a non-stop, trip-hop, psychedelic cold shot
She left me rhythm and blue
I was a laid-back Cadillac; she broke me in the first act
What in the world could I do?”
With the stripped-down “Miss Treatenest,” he references some old slang for watches and time; ‘Elgin Movement, ’ which is cited in “Walking Blues” from Robert Johnson when describing women and their bodies as to have ‘Elgin Movements’ – curvy, famous and clockwork.
“I don’t want no lovin’, that ain’t soul to soul
But these all-night ladies just wanna rock and roll
They got Elgin Movement from head to toe
Before I see them coming, they already out the door.”
Born and raised at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in VA, Eli started young, and by the time he was 18, he was playing church revivals, “juke-joints” and opening up for B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Robin Trower. He has been spending the good part of these past three years playing live, solo, or with his power trio.
Press has been kind to Eli, from Guitar Player to No Depression to Elmore to Blues Music Magazine as well as Maverick overseas and much more. He’s a delight on the radio interviews, and of course, live shows are where Eli piles on the food on plates for his listeners.
“lean, mean, gritty demeanor” – American Blues Scene
“raw, robust vocals” – Elmore
“fittingly pockmarked voice and virility on guitars, Eli Cook sizes up the old blues music he so clearly values” – Downbeat
“Catches fire and respects the traditions. Quite a story for sure, but Cook’s righteous vocals and anthemic guitar work proves this 31-year-old can play with the best.” – Glide
Eli comes from the crossroads of blues, the highways of rock and the backroads of country, and with his gritty voice, there ain’t nothing like it. His guitar prowess includes pickin’, slidin’, and strummin’ from a Fender to a National Resonator Tri-Cone; he amazes the traditionalists and scares the modern players.
Eli Cook Delivers A Musical Whiplash With New Album
High-Dollar Gospel out 8/18/2017
On C.R.8 Records Label Debut
“Mystifying” – John Mayall
“This is a fine blues record that doesn’t stick to convention.”
Vintage Guitar (2018)
“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)
“His songs have as much in common with Howlin’ Wolf as they do with Steve Earle.” – Atlanta Auditory Association
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”)
“What’s left Eli Cook’s attitude and soul coming through and it sounds raw, beaten, and human.” – Americana Radio Show
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
Back away the concrete is buckling.