Born: April 24, 1986 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Eli Hudnall Cook was born in Nelson County, Virginia on April 24, 1986. He grew up in a world of old cars, chain-saws, and guitars in a Blue Ridge Mountain hollow where radio still reigned, and telephones and television failed. Eli began playing Gospel at revivals when he was 15, and still never forgets to take you to church at some moment in his performance today.
Eli describes his music as blue, blue, Blues. Phil Reser, of BluesWax describes Eli as a young gun with an old soul who storms through slide guitar romps, tackling the Blues, and sounding like his generation's Son House or Elmore James. He's not just playing the same licks as his mentors, but adding his signature sound and style to the art of the Blues.
However you describe Eli's music, it has ushered him onto many a wonderful stage: He frequently opens for B.B. King, has shared the spotlight with Johnny Winter, Shemekia Copeland, and Robert Cray, and has performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Today, Eli tours nationally and his recordings are played on radio stations all over the world. Moonshine Mojo, his debut album recorded in 2004, has become a collector's item featuring renditions of classic Blues hits like Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy, and John Lee Hooker's Huckle Up. Miss Blue'es Child, recorded in 2005, was picked up by New York's Valley Entertainment on their Sledgehammer Blues Label in 2007 and proceeded to take the Old School Blues world by storm, earning a feature article in Guitar Player Magazine. ElectricHolyFireWater, a collection of heavy Blues metal. was recorded in 2007 and is ranked as one of the best 100 electric guitar recordings of the year by New York's Axecalibre, and one of the best 100 electric guitar albums of the last decade by La 7e Corde, France. Static in the Blood, 2009, is a lush R&B studio recording with roots deep in gospel and blues. Citing influences as diverse and as Kid Rock and Jay Z, Eli continues to introduce the Blues to the listener of the new century.
Singer and guitarist Eli Cook settles into the rhythm of the blues with surprising presence and warmth, something quite rare among the younger exponents of 12-bar music. His performances on Miss Blues'es Child attest to his high regard for forefathers like Son House and Mississippi Fred McDowell. -- Frank-John Hadley 2007 Keeping the Blues Alive Journalism Award Winner
“Natural and convincing, (Cook) has what it takes to be the best blues singer of his generation…” -- All Music Guide
Twenty-year-old prodigy Eli Cook is a revelation. With a voice as rich and graveled as his by-gone Delta-blues predecessors and guitar work that most musicians couldn’t hope to master through decades of intensive training, Cook’s debut release feels more like an unearthed Southern masterpiece than the recordings of an underage white boy . -- LGLP at On Tap Magazine, Washington, D.C
“Simply put, Miss Blues’es Child provides ample evidence that Eli Cook is a major talent, following in the footsteps of Gregg Allman and Joe Cocker as a white man who can truly sing the blues…” -- Hittin’ The Note
Over the top of the crushing riffs one can hear guitarist Cook's roots in Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix...Equally adept at slide guitar, Cook evokes the spirit of Elmore James in modern form. -- Keith Langerman, Nightwatcher's House of Rock
Eli Cook is a young gun with an old soul. The 20-year-old storms through slide guitar romps tackling the Blues and sounding like his generation's Son House or Elmore James. ...His deep, thick, rough voice combines the essence of John Lee Hooker and R.L. Burnside. He's not just playing the same licks as his mentors, but adding his signature sound and style to the art of the Blues. Eli Cook is the youngest, old school Blues musician I have ever interviewed. ---Phil Reser, Blues Wax
“Cook's raucous take on Fixin' To Die shows his mastery of incessant, scratchy electricity. By contrast, the satisfying, seven-minute-long Trick Bag, demonstrates his sensitivity to the importance of empty space, something young performers don't usually develop so early in their careers. Eli Cook is a talent to reckon with.” ---Jon Sobel, Blogcritics
“[Eli is] a kid sick with talent and someone with the potential to reinvigorate a tired genre.” --- Jonathan Keefe, Slant Magazine
“Cook sounds as if he was raised at the bottom of the Mississippi Delta (especially on the fine “Terraplane Blues”)…even the timbre of his voice suggests he is not of this era...” -- Pop Matters
Static in the BLood (Cookin', 2009)
Miss Blue'es Child (Valley Entertainment, 2007)
ElectricHolyFireWater (Cookin', Year 2006)
Moonshine Mojo (Cookin', 2004)
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Willing to teach:
Focused on acoustic blues styles.