[14 June 2007]
There were days when a young blues sensation was once something to go crazy over. However, more and more of them are come to the forefront of late. Eli Cook is such a musician, and while there are others who rely on louder riffs and licks, Cook sounds as if he was raised at the bottom of the Mississippi Delta (especially on the fine “Terraplane Blues”). Even the timbre in his voice suggests he is not of this era but from the early part of last century. From there, Cook shines on the foot-stomping “Don’t Ride My Pony”. Throughout the record, Cook shows wisdom far beyond his years on the gorgeous “Anything You Say” that could be mistaken for Keb’ Mo. The same can be said for the tender “Irene” that shows more of Cook’s natural chops. However, it’s the toe-tapping tunes that come to the fore such as the bottleneck blues of “Miss Blues’ Child”. And Cook consistently mines this rich musical area for the golden nuggets, such as the slow but stellar “Goin’ Down South”. None of this sounds forced or faked, it just so happens that Eli Cook is caught in some time warp few artists of his age can capture this well.