300 Main St
Longmont, CO 80501
“Everybody knows the story of the crossroads, where blues guitarists go at midnight to trade their souls to the devil for musical prowess. It’s just a myth, of course, but if it were true, firebrand Eli Cook could have bragging rights, as his scarifying solo-country blues chill like a hellhound on your trail.” – Guitar Player (2007)
Eli Cook is a mystifying soul. He’s a keen observer, a provoking thinker and has swagger.
All under that messy blonde hair is a passionate heart with fingers of silver and gold that recall John Lee Hooker, Chris Smither, and Chet Atkins, mixed with a dirty, grungy, Delta sound. It’s clean playing mind you; it’s just that his fingers are covered in the dirt from the crossroads.
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Eli was born at the foot of the mountains of Virginia, and with no TV growing up he spent Saturday nights around the radio with local shows and Prairie Home Companion. He picked up the guitar at age 13 after watching his older brother play and began to teach himself. Within two years he was playing solo acoustic guitar for gospel revivals and electric blues in a power trio in local “juke joints.”
A student of several musical tastes, Cook took what he heard on the record player and radio melding it into his own which makes him stand out. At 18 with a bone-shaking growl and bonafide blues guitar chops, he was received by fans and critics as a torch bearer for a slew of historical players, from Son House to Leadbelly to today’s modern players, like Chris Smither and Rory Block.
As the country sounds of Appalachia crept in Eli didn’t flinch; “It didn’t seem unnatural,” says Cook, who was the product of a rural Southern upbringing where people moved easily between genres. “It’s what was around me, and I just tried to pick up on everything and everybody, including Doc Watson and Chet Atkins. In fact, hearing Chet fingerpick made me realize I didn’t need a band.” (Source: Guitar Player 2007)
No slavish dilettante or rusty, dusty blues purist, Cook has internalized his influences, including the rock of Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine, stirring them into a musical cauldron of authentic, timeless music emanating from deep in his soul. “The reason I make a comparison between the bluesmen and the grunge guys is the feeling of authenticity in the expressions of angst that they both convey.” (Source: All About Jazz – May 2011)
His debut Moonshine Mojo in 2004 contained choice classic blues covers. In 2007 both the scalding, blues-rocking Electricholyfirewater and the all-original acoustic Miss Blues’es Child made their appearance. Following were Static in the Blood (2009), an outside-the-box studio production mixing R&B and rock,Ace, Jack & King (2011), a grunge blues blast, and the all-original, explosive trio recording Primitive Son (2014) with star-studded cameos. He has toured to national acclaim, holding his own in the company of blues royalty B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Shemekia Copeland and Gary Clark, Jr. In 2015 he was voted #3 on the prestigious UK Blues Matters Writer’s Poll for Favorite International Blues Solo Artist.
The son of a Filipino mother and an African-American father, Jack was born in the Philippines. He grew up in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. His mother bought him an acoustic guitar at the age of twelve because she wanted to keep him busy. The family moved to Denver, Colorado, where he learned to play music by ear, playing music by everyone from Hendrix to Dylan, unaware that he was learning the foundation of American music – the blues.
Jack played in a number of Denver area bands, sharpening his guitar skills and discovering his vocal talent along the way. He began performing as a solo artist and played countless shows as a hired gun. In 2005 Jack decided to focus on writing and performing his original blues-based material with his own trio, The Jack Hadley Band. That same year he was playing at a local club when he was approached by blues veteran Otis Taylor who happened to be in the audience. For the next 18 months Jack was Taylor’s lead guitarist, playing at festivals and shows all over the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. He appears on Otis Taylor’s 2007 Telarc release “Definition Of A Circle” playing lead guitar and lap steel. Notable musicians on this recording include ex-Thin Lizzy axeman Gary Moore and blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. In November 2006 he recorded two songs with keyboard wizard Steve McQuarry at the legendary Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco including his revolutionary track “You & Me.”
The fall of 2007 marked the beginning of a new project with bluesman Dan Treanor. “Brothers Blood & Bone” is a fresh look at the blues today that includes new songs from Treanor and Hadley along with their updated versions of classics from Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sonny Boy Williamson and Walter “Billy Boy” Arnold. In 2011 Hadley contributed lead vocals on Neil Haverstick’s “Hide & Seek” CD on Stickman Records.
Jack’s career is in high gear with 2013 appearances at Blues From The Top in Winter Park, Colorado; BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups in St. Louis; the Brighton Blues Blast in Brighton, Colorado; and the Rauma Blues Festival in Rauma, Finland, backed by the St. Louis Blues All-Stars featuring keyboardist Bob Lohr, bassist Terry Coleman and drummer Keith Robinson. His latest effort – “The St. Louis Sessions” – was released in October, 2014, on San Telmo Media. Recorded with the St. Louis Blues All-Stars, produced by Bob Lohr.