Staring with that Cooks says his move to Nashville should not be seen as a sign that he’s trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow Missourian Sheryl Crow and go country.
In fact, Cook has been touring clubs and debuting a slate new rock oriented songs that he hopes to string together for an album next year.
And to pretty positive acclaim.
Take Cook’s November 22 show at the Old Rock House in St. Louis.
“From the opening chords of ‘Paper Heart’ it was evident Cook was there to rock and to do what he does best; entertain,” reads an Examiner.com review. “Strapped with a Gibson Les Paul and backed with a tight-knit band Cook beat through a 19 song setlist in just under two hours in very engaging fashion.”
Instead of trotting out a sampling of country tunes, Cook took on a Bruce Springsteen cover and then unleashed Lynryd Skynyrd‘s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“With his mother in attendance and playing before a largely female audience which was jam packed in the venue, Cook was taken aback by the extreme volume of the screams,” the review continues. “Cook even commented at one point to some screams, ‘I don’t even know what frequency that was in.’…Cook interacted extremely well with the fans – a bonus for seeing an artist in the intimate confines of the Old Rock House – and bantered back and forth like he was giving each private performance in their living room.”
By insisting in media reports that Cook plans to stay true to his American Idol roots, and judging from the screaming, female crowds that he continues to draw – albeit far smaller in number as evidenced by the size of the venues he’s now playing – it’s likely that his sold out January 4 return to Knuckleheads (he played their in October) will be both entertaining and intimate. And it’s a good bet Knuckleheads may set an all-time record for most women in attendence under the age of 50.
So there’s that.
However where Cook goes from here remains to be seen.
He hopes to record a new album, but at this stage of the game appears to lack a record deal to accomplish that. Poor sales of Cook’s last album This Loud Morning resulted in him getting dropped by the label.
For now Cook can eke out a decent living playing small venues, but for how long?
“I’m a road dog, I love being on the road,” Cook said in a radio interview last month in LA. “So I mean, as long as they’ll keep coming to shows, I’ll keep heading out.”
But Cook needs to catch a break if he intends to continue to dodge the “day job” bullet.
Will 2014 be the year he accomplishes that? Let’s hope.
In the meantime, there’s always Knuckleheads …