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Mark Cook | Backwoods Chaos

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Blues: Delta Style Folk: Folk Blues
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Backwoods Chaos

by Mark Cook

Acoustic blues that will take you back to the crossroads. Follow up to a 4 time winner of the JPFolks "Best Blues Album of the Year" awards. This is Mark Cook's 7th CD release.
Genre: Blues: Delta Style
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Cotton Fields
1:31 $0.99
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2. Louisiana Mojo
2:21 $0.99
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3. Shake These Blues Away
4:16 $0.99
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4. Mandolin Boogie
2:40 $0.99
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5. One Step Closer
3:09 $0.99
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6. She's the One for Me
3:05 $0.99
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7. Lowdown Lonesome Feeling
3:18 $0.99
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8. Bankruptcy Blues
3:27 $0.99
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9. Cheatin' Man's Woman
6:14 $0.99
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10. Backwoods Chaos
2:22 $0.99
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11. Lonesome Traveler
2:47 $0.99
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12. Dreadful Blues
1:38 $0.99
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13. Goodbye Old Friend
2:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Mark Cook (guitarist/producer) resides in Atlanta, GA. Mark is a four time winner of the "JPFolks" music awards - held each year in Los Angeles, CA. for "Best Blues Album of the Year" and "Best Rock Instrumental of the Year" - Also, received "Honorable Mention" in the "International Songwriter's Competition" - Mark is a voting member of the Recording Academy and is actively pursing music licensing and has had some recent placements in such TV shows as FOX's "Touch", NBC's "Grimm", TNT's "Saving Grace" (multiple episodes), "Without a Trace", MTV's "Camped Out" and "True Life", ABC's family channel - "Kyle XY", - ABC's "Lost" and ABC's "Eastwick" for 2 episodes. Movie placements include: "Buried Alive" 2007 and "Bad Lieutenant" starring Nicholas Cage and Val Kilmer, "Free Runner", and "I Melt With You" starring Rob Lowe. Mark graduated with honors from Indiana State University with a B.S. in Industrial Technology and an Associates in Architectural Drafting. (summa cum-laude GPA and a member of the "Golden Key National Honor Society")




The Mark Cook Project
"Blue VooDoo"
Wendster Records / Mec Jetlag
BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO, © APRIL, 2006

Just about a week ago, I did a review of a CD from a band called BLUE VOODOO, now here I am doing a review of a CD, by THE MARK COOK PROJECT, called "BLUE VOODOO". Is this a coincidence or should I be expecting to receive a doll called BLUE VOODOO soon? Hmmmm!

I must admit that when MARK COOK contacted me recently and asked if I'd give his latest release a listen, I was ECSTATIC! I immediately thought back to one of his prior releases that I had reviewed in 2003 and found myself hoping that this new disc would be as good as that one was. As a matter of fact, it was that earlier release - "AN EVENING WITH THE BLUES" - that won the very first BLEWZZY, the award we give annually to Blewzzman's favorite CD of all the CD's reviewed that year.

As Mark usually does, when he assembled this band, he chose from some of the finest musicians in his area, and he chose a lot of them. His ensembles are generally the size of a small audience. Hence the word "PROJECT". The members of this MARK COOK PROJECT, in alphabetical order, are: MIKE BARRY, trumpet; CHUCK BITHORN, percussion; ANDREW BLACK, vocals; MARK COOK, guitar, bass and keyboards; WENDY COOK, porch board; HEAVEN DAVIS, vocals; TOM GIBSON, trombone; LARRY GRIFFITH, vocals; LOLA GULLEY, vocals; JOEY HUFFMAN, B3 organ, STEVE MAYS, bass; BOB MOBLEY, B3 organ and piano; SEAN O'ROURKE, drums; STEVE RUSIN, harmonica; RIC SEYMOUR, vocals; SAM SKELTON, alto, tenor and baritone saxes; TIM YOUNG, bass.

"BLUE VOODOO" is a very tasteful and versatile mix of Funk, Soul, R&B, Roots Blues, Blues Rock, Big Band Blues and good old straight up, lowdown Chicago Blues. The disc contains 15 excellent tracks of which all lyrics and music were written, produced, recorded and mixed by MARK COOK. Amazing!

Although it will be difficult to not name them all, here are some of the tracks that particularly got my mojo working.

If you've got any speakers near a smoke alarm, be very careful as the opening track, "NO ONE LIKES A GOOD WOMAN (WHEN SHE'S DOWN)", comes on. This one's very hot and full of fiery funk. The rhythm section of SEAN, TOM and JOEY is rippin', the horns of SAM, MIKE and TOM are howlin', STEVE'S harmonica's hummin' and LOLA's vocals is the fuse that sets it all off.

There's no indication of anyone letting up, as the heat continues to spread into the next track, "GONNA FLY THE COOP". This one features ANDREW singing his heart out and mixing in lots scintillating scat. The horn section, once again - and as usual - are right there, and MARK and BOBBY are tearing up the guitar and keyboards. What a hell of a one-two punch for opening tracks.

"MOONLIGHT BLUES" brings things down a bit, but certainly not in quality - only in tempo. Once again, LOLA is featured on the vocals but this time she's belting out some good old down home blues, and damn can she belt it out. As you'd expect, there are lots of great blues guitar licks by MARK.

"BACK TO TENNEESSEE", is a very Sonny Terry & Brownee McGhee / Cephas & Wiggins sounding roots blues track which is all about STEVE on harmonica and LARRY on down home vocals.

"DON'T PULL ME DOWN" is another one of those tracks that everyone's tearing it up on, with RIC, one of a slew of excellent vocalists who have sung on this disc, leading the way. MARK, STEVE & JOEY are at their best on guitar, harp and organ.

"TOMORROW'S COME AND GONE", is a steamy and sultry vocal virtuoso performance by HEAVEN & LARRY. This wonderfully done 5 minute track added 75 minutes on this review because I literally listened to it 15 times over. It's songs like this that create a need for "Song of the Year Awards".

"BLUE VOODOO" is the musical comparison to the sky on a very clear and cloudless night....IT'S FULL OF STARS. Never have I listened to a CD and been this impressed with each and every performer. It breaks my heart to know that there are such talented people doing such talented things and the masses will never know about it. On the other hand, I'm thankful that I am one of the those that do.

Purchase a copy of "Blue VooDoo" directly from us by clicking HERE

You can visit Mark Cook on the web at: www.markcookmusic.com/ Mark Cook is one talented young man. On his last outing, "An Evening With The Blues," he handled just about every chore, from writing to multi-instrumental duties to production and engineering. A fine debut, that project was marred only by unconvincing vocals. Mark continues to wear many hats with "The Promise Highway"; not only did he write all the songs (with help on just one), he engineered, produced, mixed and arranged the project. Restricting himself to guitar, he's now working with a full band, and has solved his vocal dilemma quite nicely by recruiting two fine singers in the persons of Roman Broadus and DaRon Washington.
Mark's blues lean to the rock side (lots of fiery fretwork in evidence), spiced with equal measures of funk, a bit of jazz, even some pop. Whereas such a blend can often result in a lack of focus, Mark holds everything together nicely, sequencing things intelligently to deliver a satisfyingly integrated package, the variety a plus rather than a distraction.

The title track, a funky declaration of defiance, is fuelled by B3 and harmonica, Mr. Broadus' vocals just this side of overwrought; "Another Year Goes Passing By" (not, as one might suspect, an answer to Albert King's similarly-titled classic) is a bouncy shuffle. Mark shows his blues chops on "Down With The Blues," with Ms. Washington's soulful pleading deriving much of its passion from the church. Mark's work here shows both maturity and restraint. Again the B3, courtesy of Bobby Mobley, provides a solid and soulful cushion of support.

"Mood Swing" is a jazzy little jump number; there's a delta groove to "You Can Take Away My Woman (But Don't Take Away My Wine)," and slippery funk on "This Is My Life." Elsewhere there are furious shuffles ("Bummin's My Profession" and "Don't You Ever Leave"), more funk (the aptly-titled "Funk The Blues"), breezy, jazz-inflected pop (think George Benson) on ""When The Blues Takes Hold Of Me," even a bit of swamp with "The Bitter Truth," a duet with Ms. Washington and Roman spurring each other on to frenzied heights - toss in a fine sax solo by Randy Hunter and this one may well be the disc's highlight. Mark wraps things up with a solo "Blues For A Rainy Day," a moody instrumental that effectively conjures up a dreamy, almost otherworldly atmosphere. Short and sweet, it's very pretty, very relaxing, yet Mark manages to make it swing just a bit. Very nice indeed.

Still young by the standards of the blues game, Mark is enormously talented and shows great promise. He'd be well advised, however, to take some lessons on packaging; the cover shot is cheesy in the extreme. Given the quality of the contents, I sincerely hope it doesn't put potential buyers off. This one's definitely worth a listen.




This review is copyright © 2002 by John Taylor, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.

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Gerald Smith

Great Artist
This is a great cd. If you are a music lover you will not be disappointed with any of Mark Cook's music.
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