Eli Cook grew up on the blues:
John Lee Hooker,
Lightnin' Hopkins, and
Mississippi John Hurt. He
first picked up the guitar when he was fourteen, and began his own
performance career playing vintage blues, gospel shows, and revivals in
Nelson County, Virginia when he was fifteen. (Braving the Blues,
Lynchburg News and Advance, Jan. 9, 2003, by Theresa Boyd) His first
electric trio, The Red House Blues Band, was formed in 2002 while a
junior at Monticello Highschool. Eli was called a 'blues phenomenon' by
reviewers in near-by Charlottesville: "Featuring fast-fingered guitar
and a powerful voice beyond his years, Cook doesn't need any
Robert-Johnson-style pact with the devil to take him to the top." (Eli
Cook's Red House Blues Band, by Matthew Hirst, C'ville Review,
In 2004 internationally reknowned blues bassman Steve Riggs joined Eli's
rhythm section, a veteran of the blues circuit who had played and
recorded with Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vaughan, and many others, and under
whose tutelage Eli recorded Moonshine Mojo, his first full-length
recording, which has become a collector's item today.
The following year Eli returned his attention to classic acoustic blues.
Influenced by the songs of R.L.Burnside,
Bukka White, and
Son House, he recorded Miss Blues'es Child
at The Sound of Music Studios In Richmond Virginia in a single autumn
day, playing a borrowed 12-string and his own old Gibson, accompanying
himself with a kick-drum or a tambourine tied to his boot. Patrick
McCrowel, a talented friend from Greene County, stopped by to sing
harmony and pick banjo on a few cuts, spontaneous and unrehearsed. Eli
called it "...blue, blue, blues;" reviewers called him "...a young gun
with an old soul...storming through banged-up slide guitar romps,
tackling the storied form with the mean streak of his generation's metal
men." Independently released in 2005, Miss Blues'es Child was released
internationally by Valley Entertainment on the Sledgehammer Blues label
Meanwhile, Eli was putting together a new power trio to play and record
his original work: a young, wildly talented local drummer, Jordan
Marchini, who was playing for the gothic metal band Bella Morte, and a
hard-rock/progressive bassist, Eric Yates, who could execute and
elaborate on the complex and difficult basslines Eli's music required.
They began performing and recording in January of 2006, and released the
finished album, ElectricHolyFireWater, in January 2007. (Nothing to Be
Blue About, The Hook, 2007)
By now, Eli's musical reputation was spreading. His band, christened
ElectricHolyFireWater, opened for legendary guitarist Johnny Winter,
Room Full of Blues ,and Shemekia Copeland. He chose African
percussionist Darrell Rose to perform with him on The Millennium Stage
at The Kennedy Center, electrifying an audience of 300 with his own
special brand of African Rhythm and American Blues, and he opened for
B.B. King solo at The Paramount Theatre in February of 2007.
But already he was in the studio working on his next solo recording,
a personal musical effort that would take three years to complete.
During that time, his Double-Barrel Blues Show, an hour of acoustic
vintage blues, followed by an electrifying night with his band, became a
staple at Madam's Organ, the most elite blues club in Washington, D.C.
He opened solo repeatedly for Blues Master B.B.King on the east coast.
His band and acoustic shows stunned the audiences at Floydfest, and he
performed annual sold-out concerts of obscure Classic Hendrix Works.
In October of 2009 Cook released his fourth recording "Static in the
Blood" a lush, R&B studio recording with roots deep in gospel and blues
and elegant guitar work of every hue and shade. The album is a paradise
of contemporary styling all done the unmistakable Eli Cook way. Citing
influences as diverse and as Kid Rock and Jay Z, Eli continues to
introduce the Blues to the listener of the new century.
Today, Eli Cook performs nationally, and Miss Blues'es Child, first
released more than 5 years ago, has taken permanent residence on the
internet radio blues charts.