Though Chris Cook hails from North Carolina and frequently performs up and down the East Coast, his star shines brightest overseas in the UK. European listeners have long had a jones for Americana stylings and their tolerance for some acts is better served than others. In the US, pleasant enough artists play the bar and coffeehouse scenes, devise a decent following, and earn a decent living. You never see them on the big stages and they always become someone’s secret little treasure who they drag you to see. Across the pond, sometimes things blow up to a bigger level, and such is the case with Cook, a nice enough singer-songwriter who is versatile enough to wrap his songs in ambitious mixes of folk, bluegrass and swampy R&B. A few songs stand out, particularly the bluesy stomp of “Heartless Road”, the swinging carnival-esque “The Boy I Used to Know” and the straight-ahead Tom Petty rock of “Between a Rock and a Romance”, and probably translate to the live stage well. However, American listeners may have to work a bit harder to find those stages here.
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