Eli was born at the foot of the mountains of Virginia, and with no TV growing up he spent Saturday nights around the radio with local shows and Prairie Home Companion. He picked up the guitar at age 13 after watching his older brother play and began to teach himself. Within two years he was playing solo acoustic guitar for gospel revivals and electric blues in a power trio in local “juke joints.”
A student of several musical tastes, Cook took what he heard on the record player and radio melding it into his own which makes him stand out. At 18 with a bone-shaking growl and bonafide blues guitar chops, he was received by fans and critics as a torch bearer for a slew of historical players, from Son House to Leadbelly to today’s modern players, like Chris Smither and Rory Block.
No slavish dilettante or rusty, dusty blues purist, Cook has internalized his influences, including the rock of Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine, stirring them into a musical cauldron of authentic, timeless music emanating from deep in his soul. “The reason I make a comparison between the bluesmen and the grunge guys is the feeling of authenticity in the expressions of angst that they both convey.” (Source: All About Jazz – May 2011)
Eli Cook can rain down fire and brimstone in his singing, as well as express touching tenderness while pushing the musical envelope with these eight blues-fueled original tracks and two stunningly interpreted covers. He describes it as “…wanting to get something really representative of what I do now, as three-quarters of my shows are performed solo.”