Jon Brooks & Scott Cook – December 5, 2018
“(Brooks) speaks and sings words that need to be spoken and
sung and he does it beautifully, perfectly, and with absolute
finesse.” – Rod Kennedy, Founder and Producer, Kerrville
Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
“It’s a perilous and irresponsible life that pursues an ancient vocation incapable of modern recompense. I’m at once consoled and terrified by Leonard Cohen’s comment that ‘songwriting is not a vocation, but a sentence…’ It’s true that fame and money are the jurors and legislators of success in the current age; and at the mercy of such a court I am unanimously judged a failure. But I can’t help but question such narrow measures of success. Since 2006 I have released 5 albums I remain wholly proud of; I’ve enjoyed the outrageous honour of being blessed to perform for thousands of open hearted and friendly souls the Western world over; as well, The Canadian Folk Music Awards has deemed me worthy of being nominated – a record 4 times – for ‘English Songwriter of the Year’ (2007/2009/2012/2015); in 2010, I became the 4th Canadian since 1975 to win the prestigious Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival ‘New Folk Award.’ And yet still, on my best day, The Song is woefully all I know. And on many more days, I don’t feel I know The Song at all. Like beauty, The Song remains an eternal mystery to me; and, as often as I chase it, I spend my time considering dropping the sad pursuit altogether for something more secure, more ‘responsible.’ But I’m stuck. The irreconcilable problem is this: I know no other thing more intimately than The Song – and outside of kindness, it’s the one thing in the mournful world I’ve occasionally touched that ascends with purpose, force, and love and so I stay seeking it more or less blindly.
“I write songs to calm those who’ve looked into, and seen, what is in their hearts. I also write songs to terrify those who have not.” – Jon Brooks
“Scott Cook has distilled his travels down into songs powered by a sharp eye for imagery, a healthy dose of humanity, and that unforgettable voice, that at the same time intones the rigors of the road and the most comfortable couch you have ever slept on.” -David Francey, 3x Juno-winning songwriter
A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada’s Scott Cook has managed to distil the stories collected over eleven years touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements. His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track “Pass It Along” won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him “one of Canada’s most inspiring and imaginative storytellers”. In 2015 he put together a seven-piece honky-tonk band for his fifth studio album, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long, and in 2017 he released his sixth album Further Down the Line, earning his second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, for English Songwriter of the Year. The album is packaged in a 132-page softcover book offering a look back, in words and pictures, on his last decade of near-incessant rambling. Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year since 2007. All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.
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