Eli Cook has been gathering some great press for High-Dollar Gospel – click on the logos for interviews, CD reviews and previews to shows! Here are some of what they have been saying!
“This is a fine blues record that doesn’t stick to convention.” (2018)
A Virginia native, Eli was raised on a strict diet of blues, rock and with a slice of grunge. His guitar work and powerful vocals are moody but very dynamic in delivery that will cause a musical whiplash. High-Dollar Gospel preaches a high voltage to your ears and shakes you loose.
“…expertly produced and tastefully played…” – by Jack Goodall
What do you do when you can play straight blues or Hendrix style hard rock with equal ease and finesse? On the seventh album of his career the phenom from Nelson County, Virginia reins in his inner guitar god and makes his most focused roots blues album yet. High-Dollar Gospel finds Cook showcasing his acoustic mojo and the result is the most satisfying record of his career. — by Joe McSpadden
A blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer, Eli Cook has been hailed as the best blues singer of his generation. His honest unique blend of contemporary and old-school styles guitar playing and songwriting combined with his raw, robust vocals have put him at the forefront of modern blues. On High-Dollar Gospel, Cook continues to impress with his outstanding playing on his slide Resophonic guitar, and his vocals style is drenched with feeling. — by Sylvannia Garutch
For those who don’t believe sparse, simple music, delivered honestly and boldly can be powerful, we would beg to differ. As evidence of our strongly held belief, we offer High Dollar Gospel by Eli Cook. The 11 tracks performed here are powerful given their lean, mean, gritty demeanor. – by Barry Kerzner
Ell Cook, High–Dollar Gospel (C. R. 8 Records; 46:29 ***1/z) With his fittingly pockmarked voice and virility on guitars, Eli Cook sizes up the old blues music he so clearly values. A 31-year-old Virginian. he boosts his cache by personalizing Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Lose What You Never Had” and making his own “Mixing My Medicine” ring with earnest conviction. Other tracks on his sixth album lodge sub-currents of his sharp interest in the 1970s blues-rock guitarist Robin Trower and the more recent grunge-rock band Soundgarden. But he oversteps believable emotion coddling Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.” – by Frank-John Hadley
Eli Cook can rattle the house with roots and rock one moment and then drop to a whisper the next for a movingly understated blues number. That kind of versatility pays off, because although the guitarist, singer and songwriter is comfortable in front of a band, he’s often on his own. – by Jane Dunlap Sathe
A sure-fingered acoustic player and a robust and keenly adaptive vocalist, guitarist Eli Cook both plays his blues straight and takes some unexpected, fresh-sounding side trips as well – by Duane Verh
Catches fire and respects the traditions. Quite a story for sure, but Cook’s righteous vocals and anthemic guitar work, proves this 31-year-old can play with the best. – by Shane Handler
He preaches High-Dollar Gospel, his sixth album release, with a world-weary growl that cites its scripture with a feral tone… by ALT ROOT Staff
CR 8 Records
Countryfied tunes abound for Eli Cook on a disc that kicks off with the jumpin’ “Trouble Maker.” “Mixing My Medicine” is an experimental song along with the angsty “Can’t Lose What You Never Had.” Listen for a little bit of a Scott Weiland influence on “King of the Mountain” (trust me), and the dulcet “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” takes a pleasant narrative switch into love territory. “If Not for You” is a grand closer, with a fabulous ukulele employed to flesh out the tune.
Raw scratchy soaked vocals give the songs texture, traditional blues riffs provide a familiarity and songs about lost love, bad decisions and the never ending struggle between good and evil are nothing new. However, once you play it again and again the songs begin to open up to expose layer upon layer of sound and lyrical details that are hidden within Cook’s stories… Bluesman, folk singer, story teller and guitar slinger are all apt descriptors of Eli Cook. His songs have as much in common with Howlin’ Wolf as they do with Steve Earle.
Out now on C.R. 8 Records, High-Dollar Gospel is the seventh record from Virginia’s own mountain bluesman, Eli Cook. In a similar vein to 2014’s “Primitive Son”, Cook has opted to devote the lion’s share of the album’s track listing to re-workings of songs by well-known blues artists. But if you’re thinking that points to a lack of imagination or ambition, think again. Because Cook has bags full of talent and a knack for flipping the familiar on its head.