A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada's Scott Cook has managed to distil the stories collected over a decade of near-incessant touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia 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 rollicking fifth album, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long, and in 2017 he released his sixth album Further Down the Line, packaged in a 132-page softcover book giving a look back, in words and pictures, on his last decade of rambling. Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 160 gigs and a dozen festivals a year. All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.
"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
"There's nothing flash about Canada's Cook. He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own... He has a good eye for imagery, a gentle human touch, a wry sense of humour, a whole lot of integrity, a warm, rugged voice and a bunch of memorable lines... Truly one of Woody Guthrie's children."
-David Burke, R2 Magazine
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"It's a great, soulful and inquisitive album from the get-go, the opener a love letter to Woodie Guthrie... The disc comes in a simply beautiful package — an annotated photo book with chapters on recording, Cook's life so far in both words and pictures from the road, including lessons on how to use the Nashville numbering style of chord progressions. This look under the hood is amazing and very generous. Fellas, Get Out the Way is especially thought-provoking, jazzy and lovely, too, like this whole acoustic ride a pleasure. Alberta, You're Breaking My Heart personifies our complex province as an ex-girlfriend who's using and destroying herself, while Dogs and Kids cheerfully acknowledges the inevitable passage of time, and for whom we make memories. If He Showed Up Now questions how Christ would be received today (imagine him as an immigrant refugee, for example), and Walk That Lonesome Valley takes a look at the courage of Sojourner Truth, Father Daniel Berrigan and Chelsea Manning, the last one recently pardoned by President Obama. Look them up if you don't know their tales, or better yet buy this album. One second short of 42 minutes, this record is a real trip — Cook speaks of self-doubt in this book, but a lot of us are thankful for his ongoing courage to let us know about the courage of others in song. ★★★★"
-Fish Griwkowsky, The Edmonton Journal
"Alberta troubadour Scott Cook has been crisscrossing the globe for the past 10 years, sleeping in his van and making his living playing his earnest and sympathetic folk songs to appreciative audiences worldwide. On his sixth full-length release, Further Down the Line, Cook once again puts his altruistic view of the world not only on his sleeve, but also to the test, with folk songs that conjure the spirit of his protest-folk influences, while leaving his signature on the form... Cook has travelled far and wide to find the heart of an increasingly agitating world, and his genuine hope for it is palpable. He brings dark stories to life under the guise of pleasant, and excellently played folk music, which is just as subversive as screaming it over the roar of full-throat punk rock."
-Michael Dunn, Beatroute
"As hard traveling a man as he is, Scott Cook doesn't give into the usual world weary platitudes associated with the 21st century wandering singer-songwriter. He's a thoughtful guy, throwing a hard look at his home province (Alberta, You're Breaking My Heart), and fellow bros (Fellas, Get Out the Way), though still finding space to hilariously celebrate that most venerable of late night dancing and drinking institutions (Kitchen Dance Party On). His Edmonton-based back band The Second Chances (Bramwell Park, mandolin, banjo; Melissa Walker, bass) supply their usual sturdy and inventive backing, with pianist Dana Wylie, drummer Matt Blackie and violinist Adam Iredale-Gray adding nice touches throughout. Cook's sixth full-length release also finds him leaping forward in songwriting craft, bringing him closer to the echelon he so clearly reveres: John Prine, Corin Raymond, Greg Brown. As with his last release, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long, he's charted out his songs in the accompanying thick booklet, chords at the ready, along with a little friendly advice on how to proceed as a folk musician."
-Tom Murray, Penguin Eggs
"When lyrics create stories that hit home, when voice conveys human warmth, when themes and expressions make an indelible mark, and when they come together that's Further Down The Line from Scott Cook. Reflecting the human condition through a tapestry of songs involving folk, blues and country, and that reflection sits in a mirror showing both good and bad. The opening track 'Further Down the Line' holds a position that every song aims for--it means something, whether you've walked those roads or not, the message is close enough to touch. It's followed by the understanding of 'Dogs and Kids', then a lovingly delivered re-work of Heather Styka’s 'Careful With My Heart', a piercing look at Jesus revisiting the world 'If He Showed Up Now', while 'Walk That Lonesome Valley' is both powerful and accurate. Cook also entertains a feminist singalong with real-world observation of 'Fellas Get Out The Way', closing with the emotional elegance of 'Learning To Let Go'. Further Down The Line comes packaged in a 132-page softcover book of observations and photographs with Cook's views of places and people, experiences and incidents, longing and finding, love and loss. Cook believes: "... songs can change your life, and your life can change the world." And that pretty much sums up this album, if it doesn't reach you, check your soul, something might be missing."
-Tom Franks, Folkwords
"It is Scott's unbridled passion, as well as his resonant baritone voice and fluid guitar playing - and personable stage presentation with lashings of wry humour - that make him not just another singer-songwriter. He wears his heart for all to see on his sleeve and thinks deeply about life and the world that he travels. With Woody Guthrie a hero his songs are adroitly lyrical and soul-searching. Melodic, subtle instrumentation both in live performance and on record never obstruct... Songs range from poignant to philosophical and political - and hilarious ('Kitchen Dance Party On' just has to be seen live)."
-David Johnston, Rhythms Magazine, Australia
"One of the finest Folk albums of the last 30 years... This needs to be heard by as many people as possible. The lyrics are heart-felt. The arrangements are beautifully sparse, and they highlight Scott's voice. This is pure, accessible folk. Settle in, and listen to the beauty of this project. You won't be sorry!"
-Dan Joseph, CKWR radio
"the album itself grows on the listener as each of the 10 tracks move to the next, with the warmth of a favourite comforter and the familiarity of an old friend. The Albertan’s narrative has long been his calling card, and his latest music evokes comparisons to some of this country’s best troubadours."
-Christopher Tessmer, Regina Leader-Post
"How long is it since you heard a good song that was funny, or even a funny song that was good? One that wasn't just whimsical and that you could maybe bear to listen to a second time around? There was a period in the seventies when Loudon Wainwright III, Warren Zevon and the brilliant Shel Silverstein turned out some hilarious songs alongside the serious stuff, but what's happened since? Well, here's the good news, it looks like Scott Cook can carry on the tradition. He's a gifted songwriter, fizzing with boldness and ingenuity, writing about the environment, responsibility, commitment and the world stubbornly refusing to end according to anyone's timetable. Scott describes "Go Long" as 'a bunch of silly songs' that were recorded live in the studio with a few overdubs and corrections later, giving it a fresh and spontaneous feel that works perfectly for the songs... While it's true that there's plenty of fun on offer, more often than not there's a serious message lurking. This is an album that will make you smile, probably make you laugh out loud, and should make you think. You don't often find one of those."
"Following a tale of early settlers making musical instruments, singer-songwriter Scott Cook delivered his eloquent Pass It On. When the audience joined him on the chorus, community happened."
-Mary Anne Moorman, Storytelling Magazine
"Edmonton's Scott Cook opened for [Brandi] Carlile with a decent set of ultra-mellow folk tunes. He's a thoughtful, gentle guy with a smooth voice and a knack for fingerpicking his way through honeyed, lazy-summer-day tunes that make you wish you had a cold beer in hand (hey, maybe you did!)."
-Elizabeth Withey, Edmonton Journal
"Lyrically I think he's up there with the likes of Prine or Smither as well as contemporaries like Adam Carroll and (fellow Canadian) Old Man Luedecke. He has a snappy, witty, unpretentious way with words... There's an easy, laid-back feel to the album as if the songs came effortlessly. They're not lightweight though: 'Song For The Slow Dancers' and 'The Lord Giveth (And The Landlord Taketh Away)' are the standout tracks, both with a strong thread of politics running through them... It has the feeling of someone retelling their favourite stories... I think if it had been less specific it could have come off as mawkish (you know, all bland sentiment) but instead it's incredibly powerful. Remember that Prine fella I was talking about...? Yeah, that one."
-Scorcher Shane, No Depression
"The album opens with 'The Lord Giveth (And The Landlord Taketh Away)' by Canadian songwriter Scott Cook; a song that Billy Bragg would be proud to have written. It melds a biting lyric with a jolly tune in an attack on the banking system and right-wing government."
"Musically it is very appealing, lyrically hilarious... Recorded in a weekend, recorded live off the floor, it sounds like chums having a good time... It's very definitely Canadian, left field, honky tonk clattery barroom country, and its heart is in the right place... There is a lot of small 'p' politics and serious topics, yet somehow it is tricky to take it that way, regardless of the big themes, god, poverty etc. But importantly it has the best use of the word "trapezoid" in rock n' roll. A curiosity. 8/10"
-Rudie Humphrey, Americana UK
"The new disc One More Time Around took him back to the basics with a spare sound that highlights his articulate fingerpicking guitar skills and warm vocal tones with the unobtrusive backing of a few musical friends... His taste for social or political comment comes through in the songs with a nice balance between stories from personal experience and a philosophical world view. It all points to something larger... For Cook, politics of the personal and universal are one and the same."
-Roger Levesque, Penguin Eggs
"★★★★... Canadian folkie Scott Cook is pretty much anonymous in the United States, but the Edmonton-based troubadour deserves to be on your radar. One More Time Around is Cook's fourth album and hopefully will be the one that expands his profile. Armed with a dusty baritone and trusty acoustic guitar, Cook mesmerizes on these low-key but never boring 10 tunes... Highly recommended."
-Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News, McKeesport, PA
"Warm mellow vocals are perfectly suited to this slow moody folk music that has strong dashes of country and even a bluesiness that lifts the album above many of its peers. Whilst the instrumentation is of itself sparse, this is absolutely essential and enables Scott to paint his poetically lyrical pictures... There are subtle changes in mood, tempo, instruments and lyrical content that, for me at least, produces echoes of the great Guy Clark and a few other singer songwriters of that quality... The album is beautifully put together and the slow, mainly sparse moodiness is maintained consistently on this lyrically, incredibly detailed album of philosophical as well as practical reflections on life, with an openness and honesty that is rare... A terrific, often thought provoking album that works on several different levels at once."
-American Roots UK
"Scott Cook's latest album is as much a manifesto as a musical work... The Edmonton-based singer/songwriter/visual artist includes extensive liner notes--a dying art to his way of thinking--and cites everyone from Walt Whitman to Woody Guthrie to internet activist Aaron Schwartz to stake out his position against the cultural hegemony that would turn every creative expression into a commodity... However shareable it is, it sounds pretty good as played by Cook and his talented retinue of players and singers, delivered with a gentle, tuneful croon with tasteful trimmings. If it helps you locate it on the folk spectrum, Greg Brown's The Poet Game fits in seamlessly with the slate of Cook originals that teem with wry observations and hopeful life lessons. Isn't that what folk music is all about?"
-Scott Lingley, Penguin Eggs
"★★★★. Rich in plainspoken, poetic expression... Unapologetically honest words and music crafted from a keen observer's perspective"
-Donald Teplyske, Lonesome Road Review
"No joke, Scott Cook's One More Time Around brought a few tears to my eye. We listen to music because it either gives us Feelings or helps us process the Feelings we have. But great musics takes those Feelings and asks us to change our outlook on life completely. Ladies, and gentlemen, Scott Cook... Whether it's a political statement or a simple love song, every single track on One More Time Around is an absolute masterpiece."
-Rachel Cholst, Adobe and Teardrops, UK
"Scott Cook espouses the hippie dream by living in his van while he tours extensively with his musical message. He is a politically sensitive humanist who sings of weighty and worthy topics. There are ten pages of narrative in the lyric booklet before we get to the song lyrics and it is true to say that Scott wears his heart on his proverbial sleeve... A veritable lucky bag of different flavours and surprises await the listener over these love songs and personal philosophies on life and living. Call it folk, roots or country music, all tracks are beautifully stripped down and played at a very intimate level that invites the listener in. I am pleased to have discovered this artist of real substance."
-Paul McGee, Lonesome Highway
"The past six years have found him roaming the backroads of North America rather like a 21st century Woody Guthrie, releasing the occasional low-key album along the way to delight the growing coterie of fans who've been charmed by his beguiling vocals and relaxed finger picked guitar work. "One More Time Around" is Scott"s fourth self-styled "love letter to the world," and stand-out tracks such as "Pass It Along" and "The Poet Game" should help to win a whole host of new converts over to the Alberta based performer's refreshingly human cause." -Kevin Bryan, Northamptonshire Telegraph, UK
"There's nothing flash about Canada's Cook. He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own... He has a good eye for imagery, a gentle human touch, a wry sense of humour, a whole lot of integrity, a warm, rugged voice and a bunch of memorable lines... Truly one of Woody Guthrie's children."
-David Burke, R2 Magazine, UK
"Scott has an immensely listenable, warm voice. And as he showed with Pass It Along, the jazzy Use Your Imagination and the lovely Time With You, he is a talented songwriter who pens exquisite but sometimes quite hard-hitting songs."
-Keith Clark, The Bristol Post, UK
"One More Time Around is a more stripped-down collection than its predecessor, Moonlit Rambles - the acoustic and electric guitars, upright bass, piano, fiddle and dobro all provide subtle sonic scaffolding for Cook's delicate finger-style picking and clawhammer banjo playing, and, more significantly, his thoughtful narratives. On 'Pass It Along' he starts out talking about a guitar and ends up with a stark warning about where our avarice will lead us... 'New Grist' finds Cook singing about how the old tunes have been made new again, a metaphor maybe for how we need to reconstitute those values that once served us well. The title track, meanwhile, is a reminder that fulfillment lies not in the material but in the spiritual"
-David Burke, R2 Magazine, UK
"One of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers... beautifully written lyrics, intricate chordal patterns and a refreshing plain-spoken vocal clarity... there isn't a bad song on here. ★★★★"
-Emily Saxton, Maverick Country, UK
"Scott Cook bridges topical songs with spiritual themes, all with a gentle, personal and unrushed delivery. Listening to his music gives relief from the pace of today's world; his songs comfort on the one hand; and wake us up to something essential, on the other." -Julie Miller, CFLX radio
"A pretty damn fine relaxed, rootsy, fingerpicked collection of thoughtful and melodic songs, delivered in an easy on the ear warm, woodgrained voice that's evocative of Cockburn, but also with traces of Guy Clarke, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot."
-Mike Davies, NetRhythms, UK
"Protest - speaking with a true voice - is always worthwhile, and who knows what might grow from small seeds? Scott Cook sounds like the kindly voice of protest as he joins forces with those seeking a new way."
-John Davy, Flyin' Shoes
"With his gentle finger-picking and whispered vocals like wood-smoke in an autumn dusk, Edmonton, Alberta's very own prairie balladeer reminds one of a lumberjack Mississippi John Hurt. Scott's own "Pass It Along", was the highlight of the evening and, with its message of the lifecycles of things we use and places we belong, is sure to become a Letham Nights anthem."
-Letham Nights, Scotland
"Cook's easygoing, hardworking-hippy ideology is the sinew in every song here, from an ultra-sentimental tribute to his grandfather Ray to a killer honky-tonk jingle called "The Lord Giveth (and the Landlord Taketh Away)." Cook might get a little too romantic - you almost feel like you're intruding into a shared sleeping bag, but as one of the most genuine writers making music in town there's no question he means every word... Moonlit Rambles is like a conversational bottle of Jack passed around a dawn fire, everything burning just right. To get to know it is to know a good man and his well-worn guitar. ★★★★"
-Fish Griwkowsky, SEE Magazine
"I didn't really know what to expect, especially when he appeared on stage looking more at home on the beach than performing to a packed crowd in the historic town hall on Saturday afternoon. But once he stepped up to the microphone, I was captivated by the majesty of his storytelling, as he weaved together tales of life on the road to missed chances and losing those you love. There were many highlights of Cook's performance but Pass It Along, which took out the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest in the Acoustic and Folk Category, Use Your Imagination and Go On, Ray were standouts for me. Certainly this is an artist I will be looking out for in the future, as well as exploring his back catalogue of albums."
-Caroline Russo, HushHushBiz
"You know when you've been on the road for what seems like forever and you're finally on the last few miles until you're back home? The sun is starting to set, the other passengers are asleep, and you know you're just about there? That's what Scott Cook's music sounds like."
-Rylan Kafara, The Past Is Unwritten
"Most musicians are known for their non-stop work ethic, but Scott Cook is in a league of his own."
-Eric Bowling, Westlock News
"Canadian folk troubadour Scott Cook spent six years in Taiwan teaching and playing music before diving headlong into full-time musicianship. Since leaving our shores, the man described by David Burke of R2 Magazine as "one of Woody Guthrie's children" has been irrepressibly on the move, touring constantly through North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Cook is a throwback to the uplifting, foot-stomping, rubber-to-the-road folk tramps of yesteryear, halting tour activities only to seek occasional solace in the quiet of the country to write songs for another album -- a rare true believer with an unwavering faith in music as life-changing catharsis."
-Joe Henley, Taipei Times
"Very listenable tones with sharp and well-crafted lines. Cook has a creamy and beguiling voice but luckily he backs it up with the musical goods... Wry, sweet and witty, it's heavily Loudon Wainwright-inspired, with jaunty tunes and some Cajun musical embellishments for good measure. Love it."
-Hazel Davis, Americana UK
"Edmonton-based songwriter Scott Cook belongs to that fine tradition of traveling minstrels like Woody Guthrie... it's a good solid disc he's produced himself with lots of good players... Cook is definitely a writer to keep an eye on. Strong, decent stuff."
-Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs
"Basically, this is exactly the kind of act
you'd be happy to stumble down the hill or through the birches and hear at a music festival...
warm like a campfire, familiar like the lake down the road... deep-thinking, introspective stuff"
-Fish Griwkowsky, The Edmonton Sun
"...The album, Cook's third to date, continues to keep the listener engaged with a bunch of songs that mean something. Described as a 'new love letter to the world', Moonlit Rambles doesn't ramble exactly, rather it shines a light along the path.
-Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky Music Magazine, UK
"Scott Cook goes to show you what talent and a banjo can do;
in fact he shows that a man with talent and a banjo can make far more beautiful music than something
shiny and blitzy and over produced... a deep lush vocal that makes a song a story every time... beautifully
constructed tracks of patchwork quilt stories within an entirely concrete and realist perspective...
As memorable as Waylon Jennings, but without the country twang... undeniably genuine... Each song
is unique but equally as caressing, soothing, and memorable as its predecessor."
-Kindah Mardam Bey, AnE Vibe, Toronto
"By the time the Anglers took
the stage, emotions were already running high. As entranced bodies bobbed
up and down, the room became filled with a mass of swirling hair and
excited hands pointing upwards. For a band separated by vast distances
for the better part of the year--frontman Scott Cook makes a living
teaching in Taiwan while bassist Darryl Els commutes between Alberta's
dusty plains and his home in South Africa--they delivered an incredibly
tight set that lit up the Sidetrack. Cook's spot-on reggae vocals had
a way of latching on to your cerebral cortex, sending universal shivers
coursing through your spine until your feet answered the call. Coupled
with Els' pulsating acoustic bass lines, Cook's roots-tinged reggae
songs spread smiles through the crowd as quickly as the common cold
(which they both probably caught as they performed the whole set in
true exotic fashion, barefoot).
-Francois Marchand, SEE Magazine
"Earthy, organic, acoustic sounds without the fluff. These
guys sing and play good ol down to earth, real Canadian music.
Great vocals with some tasteful instrumental work and darn good song
-John Wort Hannam, Kerville New Folk winner & presenter, South Country Fair
"This Edmonton story teller can transform a few picked notes on the guitar, uke or banjo into a
personal experience. He turns phrases and tells stories that seem to have been passed on from
friend to friend since the dawn of time.
-Hero Hill, Halifax
"Scott Cook and the Long Weekends were a big hit with our Rose City
Roots Music Society. Talent, authenticity, charisma, energy and great
sound combined for the perfect mix that delighted our audience. Their
infectious folk and reggae stylings, tremendously high level of
musicianship and captivating stage presence make it impossible to take
your eyes off this band once they're cookin'. Without a doubt, Scott
Cook and the Long Weekends would be an excellent addition to any
line-up, and suitable for any venue or crowd. We certainly look forward
to having them back again. If they're coming 'round your bend, be sure
not to miss them!
-Rose City Roots Music Society, Camrose, Alberta
"Long Way To Wander resonates with a Dylan-esque verve,
a Waits-ian post-modernity, Cook baring his soul in public for all to hear. The songs mostly
revolve around Cook's strings - guitar, banjo, ukelele - and his low, booming voice... His
observations are spot-on and often funny, and places and people come to life vividly, whether
Cook is singing about his grandmother in Alabama or about being lost somewhere in the middle
of Asia... Long Way To Wander represents a huge leap forward for a singer-songwriter who has
many more stories to tell."
-Francois Marchand, The Edmonton Journal
"Scott's life imitates his art and this talented traveling troubadour lives in a borderless world. He has an eye for the absurdities of the human plight and an ear for putting it all to music. Scott's lyric content appears to be the soundtrack to his own life, yet his poetry reveals truths of the shape all our lives have taken in today's increasingly complex world. When Scott performs, live and on record, there is a surfeit of breathtaking moments along with scattered flashes of hummable brilliance- in a three to four minute format. Book him. He's cool."
-Kirby, publicist, Ramparts Entertainment
"There is no better place to take a break and relax from the madness than with a couple hundred friends sitting on the grass listening to
Scott Cook weave his tales of life on the road. Each song is like a
short story with moving, intimitate descriptions of places and faces
and states of mind." -Alita Rickards, Waakao, Taiwan
"These are the kinds of songs that keep the modern folk tradition alive."
-Frank Gutch, Jr.
"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
"This Canadian troubadour's CD is a veritable work of art: 120 pages of beautiful photographs, mingled with eloquent ruminations on life - something Scott Cook calls his 'love letter to the world'. Taking a leaf out of Woody Guthrie's book with the title track, Cook's lonesome vocals ride over his guitar and banjo, as he recalls his travels and ponders 'aren't some people just famous for being famous?' Honesty isn't in short supply: humanity shines out of Scott's songs like the gentle 'Alberta, You're Breaking My Heart' and on 'Dogs and Kids'. In the sea of singer-songwriter angst, Scott's happy vibe is a welcome ray of sunlight."
-Acoustic Magazine, June 2017
"Scott Cook could be called the Stompin' Tom Connors of Alberta. He's been all over the place and back, and written a song about it. With his newest release Further Down the Line, he's done his best to sum up all the roads he's walked in a booklet. This series of stories and pictures is full of heart and reflection... Further Down the Line does not tell a singular story, but offers a collection of moments and feelings unto themselves. It's many years of living on the road, many years of words, and many years of memories... His song lyrics seem more like a poetic philosophy than just words."
-Trent Wilkie, Vue Weekly
"Scott Cook's latest album Further Down the Line is a beautifully put together object and intrigues even before listening to the music. The 132-page booklet is full of beautiful photographs from Scott's travels around the world along with notes and lyrics, which are displayed alongside numbered-style chord charts. Before putting the CD into the player, I thought to myself that anyone who has put this much effort and expense into the packaging and liner notes must have made music that is equally thoughtful and carefully constructed and that is certainly the case. This is Cook's sixth album and marks a decade of playing music full-time and travelling. He is a skilled songwriter with an active imagination... Cook describes the album as 'another love letter to the world' and that is an apt summer. He mentions injustice and political insanity, but it is tempered by images of hope and beauty. Five stars." Country Music People
"As hard-working a DIY songwriter as any in the game... A Scott Cook song contains the extra work done by a carpenter who cares. Work the carpenter doesn't have to do. Work only other carpenters will likely even notice... One of the best songwriters this country has. A working artist who's taken enormous risks in order to make something which offers strength to anyone who takes the time to listen... I believe that over the years this album will prove to be a benchmark in Canadian folk music, as well as a signpost pointing the way for younger artists. I believe that young songwriters will write better songs because of it."
-Corin Raymond, Raymond Unrushed
With a musical metabolism all his own, laidback Canadian Scott Cook has a disarming honesty, a genuinely humanistic soul bordering on innocence that is hard to resist. A perfect example is "Dogs and Kids" in which the artist observes humbly, "I'm a better person hangin' with dogs and kids." It's plainspoken, homespun and, well, nice. And while Cook brings an engaging simplicity, he and his cohorts can definitely pick, turning in adroit acoustic performances that keep the home fire crackling. "Your Sweet Time" conjures an intimate, group-singalong vibe, while the humorous anti-macho tune "Get Out The Way" is Cook's good-natured plea for female leadership. Book 'im, folks."
-Music Connection Magazine
"If it were possible to dispense a doctorate in hard-earned musical experience, Scott Cook would be at the front of the line."
-Anna Borowiecki, St. Albert Gazette
On this fifth album, Canadian Scott Cook has stated his aim as "trying to put the summer on a record". And indeed he has, for Go Long is a jazzy, bluesy, countryish, folky, gloriously sprawling mess of an album. In short, it's one Big Fat Party Album... Go Long is also very funny. Not in a Barron Knights way, but more Half Man Half Biscuit. 'Talkin' Anthropocalypse Blues' is a superb Dylan-style rap over a Johnny Cash backing and 'The Day That You Were Born' had me laughing out loud. A lot. Yes it treats existential crisis in roughly the same way as running out of beer at a party, but then in the face of impending doom perhaps that's the best we can do."
-Jonathan Roscoe, Shire Folk
"Scott Cook's latest evokes the 3 a.m. campfire sound of folkies playing away with lubricated joy after the main stage closes down, with jolts of near-seriousness (Drink Poverty History, Tax Free Money), finding their way among the extended musical jokes (The Day That You Were Born), and wry social commentary (Talking Anthropocalypse Blues). Except that the campfire that Cook and his friends are gathered around has drums, bass, honky-tonk piano, a banjo poking out between the chords, and the occasional doo-wop vocal interjection for good measure. There's also lots of liquid refreshment, as evidenced by the full color booklet showing Cook, his bandmates, and friends playing the outdoor drinking game Beersbie underneath the lyrics. The wooziness is a cover for Cook's playful, barbed wit, whether he's having fun with folk musicians pulling out the same old tired chestnuts at a song circle (Will the Circle Be Unbroken?) or inserting a dating ad disguised as a rollicking country tune (Life for a Wifer). He might be striking a more thoughtful pose on While the Party's Still Going, sending a shout out to recently departed friend (and Alberta musical stalwart) Fred Larose, but somehow it feels as though he's resisting, and there are many more late night campfires in Cook's future."
-Tom Murray, The Edmonton Journal
"A nice package with a thick photo and lyric booklet that seems to reflect perfectly a hot, long-weekend summer afternoon at a riverside Edmonton park playing Beersbie... It's just the sort of music to play on an afternoon like that and his good-natured hoser philosophy shines through admirably... Have one or two beers on a hot afternoon and enjoy!"
-Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs
"Go Long sees Scott Cook's acerbic lyrics and gravelly vocal tones chilled in a coolboxful of irony... wild child anthem 'Sweet Maddie Spawton' plays out like a classic. 'Drink Poverty History' brings alcohol-induced cynicism and shards of wisdom at the bottom of the glass. Pithy commentary flows to a rollicking rodeo rhythm and orchestrated gospel end on 'Talkin' Anthropocalypse Blues'."
-Bryony Hegarty, R2 Magazine
"With a 64 page booklet, and introductory essay and cover art painted by himself, Scott Cook has clearly put his all into this album. No stone has been left unturned and it is sure to be something treasured by fans for years to come."
-Sammi Walsh, Never Enough Notes, UK
"Canadian Scott Cook's songs carry an air of classic Americana: Song For A Pilgrim is a story of melancholic departures and hopeful journeys, with hushed backing vocals, acoustic guitar, yearning fiddle and mournful harmonica. It is the sort of the song that, perhaps paradoxically, thrives in an enclosed setting. Rustic alt-country is once again the order of the day on Cook's gorgeous fingerpicked love song When We're Back Around, which shows off a tragicomic lyricism worthy of Steve Earle and he displays a similar earthiness in the pensive meditation of New Grist."
-Thomas Blake, Folk Radio UK
"His melodies do somehow paint a wide-screen landscape of the golden prairie, with grasses waving softly in time. It's a place where you can do some darned good thinking... you'll have to give this mature songwriter and performer your full attention. He won't settle for background status. Two of the 10 tracks are ones that will stick in your head long after the CD has ended. "Pass It Along" opens the album and furthers the idea of perpetual continuity. The singer wonders who his guitar will pass on to, when he is gone. "Mama Always Said" advises the listener to "be careful with your love"... One More Time Around makes for good listening, but you have to be an eager participant listener. If your mind and ears are ready, then Scott Cook can supply much musical food for thought."
-Corrine H. Smith, Rambles.NET
"A seriously good assembly of songs and tales with a strong and convincing thread moving through them... For me, it's his songwriting and vocals that tower over this collection. The lyrics reflect honesty, sometime painfully so and the delivery, phrasing and timbre are reminiscent of Jackson Browne and Don McLean to name a couple of fine performers. The opening track is a giant start -- 'Pass It Along' moves from the romance of handing down a precious guitar to a message about the future of our very planet. It's powerful and beautiful."
-Rob Dickens, Music Mainline
"This package comes with an extensive full colour booklet of lyrics, an explanation of the Nashville numbering system and a note from Scott as well as a lot of pictures. These pictures show the assembled cast playing Beersbie (also explained in the booklet). A good time was had by all from the evidence and that feeling seems to have extended to the music too... One of the centre pieces is the warm and full timbre of Cook's voice. It matches his lyrical storytelling. There have been mentions of Guy Clark, John Prine in some of the reviews and to that I might add maybe a touch of Todd Snider and Fred Eaglesmith in their more humourous mode. He gathers members of his old band to, in his own words, "try to put summer on record." Whatever the intention he and his seven band mates and co-singers have delivered an upbeat acoustic folk stew that both sustains and is flavoursome. Cook is a storyteller and and worthy addition to many other notable Canadian singer/songwriters."
-Stephen Rapid, Lonesome Highway
"Cook is the quintessentially laid-back singer-songwriter, an apparently unrufflable soul who sings songs of sensitivity and gently scathing wit in a softly assured way... He has a quiet storyteller's manner with both lyrics and song introductions that underlines the honesty in his own songs and the way he delivers other writers' works. His singing of the neglected Greg Brown's The Poet Game, to typically understated but warmly effective guitar picking, made a strong case for Brown deserving to be discovered by a wider audience. But then, the same might be said of Cook himself. He moves easily from the bluesy, on Use Your Imagination, to the matter of fact, with Pass It Along's assertion that valuable possessions are not owned, just held in trust."
-Rob Adams, The Herald, Scotland
"As he sings "whatever you've done and wherever you've been, you're never so free as when you go all-in,' in his track 'Broke And So Far From Home', there's a sense that Cook does indeed live an all-or-nothing life. The song is one of the many highlights of his latest album, One More Time Around, and it speaks with honesty and authenticity about life on the lonely road - something Cook is all too familiar with. It seems he only stops touring long enough to record an album, before heading out again. Set to finger-picked guitar, his subtle ballads are poems to the experiences of his last journey,
and if One More Time Around, his second LP in 12 months, is anything to go by, it has been a remarkable year."
-Rob Lavender, Metro, Scotland
He may hail from north of the US border, but his brand of folk is Americana through and through. His influences are far-ranging, no doubt taken on as he tours the world as a self-styled musical hobo, performing in venues ranging from concert halls to fans' living rooms. His latest album, Moonlit Rambles, is a perfect showcase of his skills as a singer, guitarist and songwriter. His soft, gentle voice and laid-back finger-picked playing style are the perfect delivery method for his sharp and smart lyrics... Cook takes his audience on a journey through the events of his life, punctuated by delightful guitar licks and always a wry smile." -Rob Lavender, Metro, Glasgow, Scotland
"One More Time Around is a meditative album from Alberta-based singer-songwriter Scott Cook - and it's an album that stands out in its exploration of people, places, incidents and experiences. There are reflections, observations, nostalgias and futures, promises and warnings, with lyrics that set striking scenes or prompt thoughtful consideration. These are songs that convey their message with gentle encouragement. Songs of meaning that make you pay attention... Scott has an edgy voice that moves deliberately across his songs, it adds a sombre edge to mournful songs and a questioning agitation to his observances on reality... This is one of those albums I'm glad that I found. Some albums are for good times, some for sad times, others for crying into your beer. One More Time Around is an album for thinking and realising that someone can put emotions into words for you to hear. It's like reading a personal diary and in many ways as much of a privilege."
-Tom Franks, FolkWords
"Cook and his trio, banjo player/guitarist/mandolinist Bramwell Park and stand up bassist Melissa Walker played a laid back, immediately appealing set of original folk and country. His band added subtle vocal harmonies and highlighted Cook's nimble fingered guitar picking. Cook played banjo on "The Lord Giveth and The Landlord Taketh Away," from his last CD Moonlit Rambles, one of the few political moments in a very relaxed and introspective show full of stories, songs and his soothing, smooth baritone voice."
-Richard Amery, LA Beat, Lethbridge, Alberta
"Lyrics are clear, instruments are tasteful. This is fine, mature writing... The words of Scott Cook are unorthodox and personal and I highly recommend this whole collection." -J.W. McClure, Victory Music, Seattle
"An enjoyable and entertaining album from another member of the Canadian music fraternity who seem at ease with their music making. MOONLIT RAMBLES carries the storytelling torch with pride." -Lonesome Highway
"It's all about the music of course but mention has to be made about the cover and booklet of One More Time Around, Canadian Scott Cook's fourth collection of songs released under his own name. The cover painting by Cook; wispy clouds floating around a blue sky, birds taking flight over a river, mountains in the background also reflects the warm, thoughtful music it envelops. The 36-page booklet is something else. For an independent release this is almost unheard of. It shows Cook's commitment to detail and getting his message across in the most effective way, and if anyone has a message to get across it is Cook. The first ten pages of the booklet are essential reading; Cook explaining why he hasn't copyrighted his albums is thought provoking and that's just part of it. What follows along with the lyrics to the songs are the relevant guitar chords for the songs with a few lines prefacing each set of lyrics listing the instruments each musician plays. The booklet is worth the price of admission alone... One More Time Around is an accomplished set of songs by an artist who deserves your attention. Cook has a lot to say, and knows how to say it to get his message across. If you're looking for a singer/songwriter with a little more substance than most, then check out One More Time Around. You won't be disappointed."
-Malcolm Carter, Pennyblack Music, UK
"A dedicated touring artist who makes Edmonton, Alberta his home when he's not on the road, folk musician Scott Cook stayed put earlier this year for long enough to bring us his fourth studio album, One More Time Around. These ten musically mellow but lyrically pointed tunes open with "Pass it Along," a song that cleverly chronicles the life and times of his guitar, from its creation to going "on loan" for the musician's use, but the story doesn't stop there--even Cook will eventually "pass it along" for someone else to play, which represents his view of all things in the world: namely, that we ought to be careful stewards of what we have and pass it along to the next generation... Taken as a whole, Cook's One More Time Around pulls off the difficult feat of being at once an engaging and easy listen, through and through."
"I'm not sure I've seen an album title and cover artwork that so aptly prepares you for the music you are about to hear. Moonlit Rambles has the intimacy of a man sitting by the lake on a moonlit night strumming his guitar and telling stories with his songs. Some are happy stories ("goin up to the country"), some are sad stories ("the lord giveth (and the landlord taketh away)"), but all of them have the warmth and closeness to them that you don't find much in music today. Even though Scott has other instrumentation and backing vocals all over this album, they are so subtly done as to never undermine his vocals. Instead they help to add colors and flourishes to the stories. The definition of 'ramble' is, "a walk taken for pleasure in the countryside". With Moonlit Rambles, Scott Cook has created a very pleasurable walk through the countryside of his mind." -Lazlo Seltzer, Blow Up Radio
"Cook has a rich baritone voice that never gets old. He’s a stand out acoustic guitar player, with serious chops honed from a decade of touring. And as a former philosophy student, he has an exceptional command of our language and puts it to the most poetic of uses."
-Lloyd Lewis, Todayville
"Scott Cook has a way with words and melodies that inspires foot taps and head nods... This One's On the House finds the songwriter telling stories of the miles he's travelled and the people he's known, and it's a compelling epic - one that is fitting for a man who sees himself as a hobo wandering the world with eyes wide open. Cook taps into the same sort of spirit that so many ramblers in the past have, and he inspires just like the most famous hobos of yesteryear, his friendly demeanor and enthusiasm for life on the move catching, fueling a desire to pack a bag and head out looking for some of the things that Cook's seen in his travels. ★★★★" -Eden Munro, Vue Weekly
"'Long Way To Wander' is an eloquent,
finger picked, perfect for Sunday listening record"
"With his "there's no shame in being a hobo, you sure can't take it when you go" ethos, Scott Cook always makes me want to strip off what few trappings of civilization I have left clinging to me. He is, without question, the most endearing of folk hippies in this uptight town - a reggae country bluesman whom Willie Nelson would get along with better than pretty much any of us, which means everything. The music on his new one is pretty, thoughtful, and hopeful - lustful for life and eternally grateful. And honest, with lines like "I'd like to say I'm past it, but I'm still moved by the mention of your name." It'd almost be easier to name who didn't join Cook on the recording, but suffice it to say he's in great company with a crisp hillbilly orchestra, beautiful upright bass, slide guitar, and chipper harmonica. Solid version of "Shady Grove," too. Spark one and lay back; there's still a little summer left. ★★★★"
-Fish Griwkowsky, SEE Magazine, Edmonton
"Alternating between an acoustic guitar and a banjo, frontman Scott Cook
led the steamy crowd of dreadlocked dancers along like a barefooted
pied piper with his eclectic mix of musical styles. At the heart of
it all was an undeniable groove and a message of universal love that
gave the night a warm fuzzy vibe even a cynical old bastard like myself
-Phil Duperron, Vue Weekly
"9-out-of-10... good old, lyric driven folk... one of the better folk CDs to cross this desk in
quite some time... find this one - it's great." -Calvin Daniels,
Yorkton This Week
"In Scott Cook's sophomore album "This One's On The House" Cook exceeds all expectations... he is well worth searching out and finding. Truly, whatever Cook puts his vocals to is an inspiration and toast to a beer in the hammock and watching the sun set."
Press Plus 1
"Scott Cook rustles up some sharp-tongued lyrics that are carefully and delicately delivered amidst his catchy music... He has a rich voice that is comforting no matter what the issue is to be conveyed... this Canadian singer songwriter keeps it authentic and true and provides plenty of fine material here."
-David Hintz, Folkworld, Germany
"His voice is Tom Waits, his sensibilities are Bob Dylan, Kerouac, and Walt Whitman, and his music is a
mixture of folk, rhythm and blues, country, bluegrass and reggae. Being a writer as well as a musician,
his songs are rich, atmospheric stories about his geographical and philosophical journeys... His music
has the ability to transport one instantly to a space of campfire-lit, creek-dipping radiance. Listening
to this album is perennially serendipitous - like one is chancing upon a well-traveled old soul by the
fireside, whose stripping-away-the-veneer knowledge of the world is never jaded, but always innocent."
The kids in Chungli know how
to party, and often follow their locally based band The Anglers to Taipei
when they play. The Anglers are not only all cute, they also play a
groovy, chilled out, down-home rock/funk music that gets everyone dancing.
-Alita Rickards, The China Post
For his smoky vocals and rough-hewn storytelling, Cook earns
frequent comparisons to Tom Waits. But he's his own man. Picking a banjo or
guitar, the tattooed Cook is a soulful member of a generation of musicians
who are bent on not only reviving American roots music, but giving it a
-Kickapoo Free Press, Viroqua, WS
The charismatic Cook, sporting
his trademark mutton chops, performed his frontman duties well, getting
people moving. The rest of the band help up their end as well, laying
down a solid, infectious groove.
Banff Crag & Canyon
"Cook shows himself to be a deft poet with an ability to deliver his songs in easy-on-the-ears musical arrangements that owe their lineage to the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Charlie Pride... This One's On The House establishes Scott Cook as one of the better traditional-style Country singer/songwriters working in Nashville or otherwise. Cook still lives the lifestyle of a road-warrior, speaking with a grit and authenticity that is rarely captured anymore, much less lived."
-Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World
"Thank you and your group so very much for doing such a wonderful show Friday evening for us. Your music is wonderful and the presentation was excellent. We all responded to your artistry and to the warmth of your own personality as you took us on a journey through your own experiences and observations. You drew us in, and we were delighted to be there listening to you. I particularly enjoyed the lyrics of your songs. They are not the usual average, somewhat awkward collection of words, but reflect both a talent for putting thoughts into rhyme and meter, and a deep compassion for and understanding of life. That intelligence is not something I see and hear every day when I am sifting through applicants for coffee house features, though that is what I always hope to find. I think yours must be an old soul." -Sue Averill, presenter, Nanaimo Folk Connection
Jungli, innumerable times Taipei Artist Village, Taipei, 2 times
Lei Gallery, Taichung, 3 times
Farm Jam, Zhubei The Goat Restaurant and Bar, Hengchun, 2 times
Banjos, Hsinchu, 11 times Revolver, Taipei, 2 times
St. Onge House Concert, Hualien
The House of Pizza (was Feebie's), Taoyuan, 3 times Rocks, Kaohsiung, 2 times Hide Out, Jungli, 2 times
Zacks House Concert, Taitung
Cat's House Concert, Taichung
Wonderbar, Jungli, 6 times
Velvet Underground, Taipei The Grooveyard, Taichung, 6 times
Western 2 Bar, Tainan, 2 times
The Refuge, Dakeng, 5 times Thinkers' Corner, Taichung
House concert at Full Lotus Yoga , Taichung Roxy Roots, Taipei, 2 times
Tianmu Alley Cats, Taipei The Wall Live House, Taipei,
The Underworld, Taipei
Sappho Live, Taipei, 3 times
9803, Shoufeng Salt Lick, Hualien
House concert at Paul and Romi's, Hualien Tin Pan Roadhouse, Dulan
Allstar Live House, Hualien
Highland Pub, Jungli
Stage Bar, Hsinchu
Mojo Coffee, Taichung, 2 times Tin Pan Alley, Tainan, 4 times
Tin Pan Diner, Tainan
Jones house concert, Hualien
Titty Tea, Zhubei, 2 times
Happy Panda, Baishawan Brickyard Beer Garden, Kaohsiung
Water, Jungli Bobwundaye, Taipei, 6 times
89K, Taichung, 2 times Café Vergißmeinnicht, Taipei PLAN B'stro, Fulong Rain City Grille, Yilan La Seine, Hualien
The Sugar Factory Cafe, Dulan, 2 times Lighthouse Bar & Grill, Kaohsiung
89K's new location, Taichung, 2 times Brickyard, Kaohsiung
Illusion, Kenting, 2 times
The Proud Monkey, Luodong
Soulstice, Luodong, 3 times
The Londoner, Taichung
Hua Shan Art District, Taipei
Shiner Age, Jungli, 3 times
Hud la Voos, Tainan
Hardware Bar, Changhua
Early Bird Diner, Taichung Retro, Taichung, 3 times
The Armory, Tainan, 3 times
The Black Dog, Kaohsiung, 3 times
The Beaver Dam, Pingtung
The Pine Garden, Hualien
Buca Buca, Taipei
Indian Camp, Kenting, 2 times
Emerge Live House, Donghai, Taichung
Hangar 18, Taichung
Golden Plaza, Taichung
A Place, Longtan, 2 times The Living Room, Taipei, 3 times
Night Sky, Taichung
Azul, Longtan, 4 times
Bliss, Taipei, 6 times
Sport Bar, Chiayi
The Post Home, Taipei
The Calgary, Chiayi, 3 times
The Drawing Room Cafe, Cape Town
Andy's Acoustic Forum, Johannesburg
Shelwell House Concert, Johannesburg
Sunrise-On-Sea Community Hall, East London