Here we have a young man who, by the age of only eighteen, released his first album called Miss Blues'es Child. Eli is back in 2011 with the fifth output in his career; an awesome fifty minutes disc, Ace, Jack, and King.
Some albums are a grower; others instantly hit the spot . Well, you have another category, not often found, that do both at once, and this new Eli Cook is exactly one of those rare birds-- I could be a very happy reviewer simply concentrating my writing on this type of music alone, even though I enjoy black metal and progressive music, too. This is down to earth music right from the soul! True, I have really been into blues for the last couple years, and mostly concentrate my acoustic playing around the bluesy/country/ folk-rock side, but, hell, did I like this album! You have nine original compositions and five covers on this CD. Many tracks are of the acoustic-blues style (my favorite), and you have five heavier numbers, too. For some reason harmonica player Wavorly Milor makes his appearances only in the heavier songs.
Eli Cook is an excellent guitar player who can handle the electric as well as the acoustic axe (6-12 strings & resonator), not to mention the mandolin. His voice is deep and downright bluesy and appears coming from a different era; a definite plus for this young man. Needless to say, I found myself impressed by his acoustic playing, and had the urge to pick up my own guitar after listening this cool disc. His playing is as bluesy as it can be, whenever handling the acoustic by fingerpicking or the resonator and twelve strings with the slide. Man, this is the stuff; real down and dirty music right from the guts! Inspiration from the Delta men, early Rolling Stones, and the Allman Brothers abound here, but Eli Cook has come up with his own brew to ease our souls. There are some nice rendition of a couple Skip James' tunes, namely: "Catfish Blues" and "Crow Jane". He used some studio trick to give "Cocaine Blues" a vintage sound. But where he really shines is on his own material like: "Better Man" (an irresistible composition I tried to play); the laid back "Please, Please", Afrossippi Breakdown", and the Led Zeppish "Black Eyed Dog" (Nick Drake). Actually, what you will not find on this album is a slightly bad track, just freakin good stuff!
So folks, get your soul & guitar and play those down and dirty blues with Eli Cook!
Added: August 15th 2011
Reviewer: Denis Brunelle