Archive for July, 2009

By John J. Moser | Of The Morning Call

Get ready for a second helping from the Cook.

David Cook, the 2008 winner of “American Idol,” has been on the road continuously since his victory over David Archuleta, first with the “Idol Live” tour, then supporting his self-titled debut solo disc, released in November and now platinum. He recently added dates through October, and says his tour may continue “maybe even into December the way things have been going.”

“We’ve been really, really fortunate with the economy the way it is to have people taking money that they might not have as much of and investing it in the record and the show,” Cook says in a cell phone call from Monticello, Iowa, where he was playing an outdoor festival similar to the show he’ll play Monday at Bethlehem’s Musikfest. “That’s a huge compliment.”

But that also means nine months after the disc’s release, he has scant new material for his next disc, and has no plans for it yet.

“But we’ve kind of started noodling with concepts and ideas for our next record,” he says. “But I imagine we’ll probably get full bore into it after this cycle is done. With this band, the first tour, I think we really wanted to really solidify ourselves on the road and be a band. I’m always trying to think a little bit ahead, but not so much so I’m not enjoying the present.”

And he says he’s enjoying himself immensely. One of the things he’s done on tour is perform at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game two weeks ago.

“I’m a big baseball fan, so I got to meet a bunch of my baseball heroes — Hank Aaron and Dave Winfield and John Kruk,” he says. “And then we got to go overseas and play for the troops, part of the USO, that was amazing. We were in the Philippines a couple of months ago. I mean, really just kind of these small pinch-me moments that happened along the way that have really kept gas in the tank for me.”

He’s also been successful. Recently, “Come Back to Me” became the third song from Cook’s debut to hit the Top 10 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart, following his “Idol” single “Time of My Life” and follow-up “Light On.” That makes him just the third artist behind John Mayer and Rob Thomas to have three Top 10 songs on that chart from a single album.

“I find it a confirmation that we’re heading in the right direction and doing some of the right things,” Cook says. “We worked really hard on the record and I’m really, really proud of the way that it turned out — especially given the time frame that we had to put it together. I think this is the record I would have made with or without ‘Idol.’ “

Asked why he thinks his songs are such a hit on the adult contemporary chart, the 26-year-old Cook says he’s “always considered myself a bit of an old soul, and try to write about things that move me. And so I guess maybe lyrically, maybe musically … I don’t think we necessarily cater to the one age bracket, but we see a lot of 20s and 30s in the audience, which is cool.”

Asked whether it could be that his music reflects influences of the grunge and post-grunge to which that age group listened in their younger years, Cook replies: “Absolutely. As long as somebody’s listening to me, I’m happy.”

While Cook doesn’t have any new songs to insert into his live set, he has changed things up a bit by pulling some songs from his pre-“Idol” days, when he fronted midwestern bands and released a solo disc, “Analog Heart,” that actually charted while he was on “Idol” before being pulled from sale due to the show’s restrictions.

“A couple of us in the band have known each other for about seven years [guitarist Neal Tiemann and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Andy Skib were in he group Midwest Kings with Cook] and they were around when I was doing the solo thing,” Cook says. “And so we try to pull stuff from before ‘Idol,’ stuff from when I made ‘Analog Heart’ and another record we were working on that never got released, and we try to encompass more of my solo career as opposed to just since ‘Idol.’ “

One tune you won’t hear at a Cook concert is his “Idol” coronation song. “Time of My Life,” even though it’s his highest-charting tune (No. 1 on the AC chart) and only one to hit gold (it went platinum in December).

Asked about it, Cook laughs. “Yeah, yeah,” he says. “Well, you know, I’ve never been big a big proponent of looking back too much. And ‘Time of My Life,’ it’s a great song, and obviously it meant amazing things for me. It was a nice time between the end of ‘Idol’ and when the record came out. But it’s just not me, and I want to come and represent myself and this band accurately to an audience in hopes that I stick around for a while.”

But Cook says he still has enough interest in the show to admire both his successor, Kris Allen, and runner-up Adam Lambert.

“I think both of them are just great guys,” he says. “I mean, obviously words apart stylistically, but I think they’re both good representatives for the show. I love Kris for what he represents — Kris is just a dude, man, he wants to play music and at the core, I think that’s what ‘Idol’ is about, in my opinion. But then you look at Adam and I love that Adam pushes the envelope, ’cause I think that opens more doors for somebody in the future to come down and maybe open a few more doors. I think that’s always the right way to go. I love how they complement each other.”

As for his own continued identification with the show, Cook says he has no concerns about it.

“I got to be honest, I don’t overly concern myself with it,” he says. “I think it came from where it came from and I have a great relationship with everybody on ‘Idol.’ People seem to have a tendency to put things in boxes and put titles and labels on everything. It’s just exhausting to try and keep up. So for me, if they want to call me David Cook, if they want to call me ‘American Idol David Cook,’ if they want to call me ‘That jerk David Cook,’ I mean, I guess as long as they’re talking about me, I’m alright.”


David Cook, with Green River Ordinance, 8:30 p.m. Aug. 3, Sands RiverPlace. Tickets: $24-$54.

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A few minutes with David Cook

By Elissa Bass Published on 7/31/2009
David Cook sounds tired.

It’s Tuesday afternoon. He’s in Washington, D.C., where he has a concert scheduled for Wednesday night. Monday night he played the Delaware State Fair. Saturday night he’s at MGM Grand at Foxwoods.

The American Idol 2008 winner has been on the road since March, relentlessly promoting his self-titled debut album in pretty much any venue that would take him. He’s played colleges, theaters, casinos, clubs, fairs and festivals.

IF YOU GOWHO: David Cook

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: MGM Grand at Foxwoods

HOW MUCH: $20, $35, $45

INFO: mgmatfoxwoods.com

How are you? I ask to open our brief telephone interview. “I’m doing OK, I guess,” he replies. The day before our chat, Cook replaced the bass player in his band, resulting in the fourth rescheduling of our interview. So perhaps he’s just not in the mood for yet another Q&A.

I try for light-hearted: “I was a Jason Castro fan right up to the second he was eliminated and then I threw my considerable support to you. Is that OK?”

”Whatever gets it done, I guess.”

I try frivolous: “Facebook or Twitter and why?”

”Neither. I try to take what little free time I have and use it on relaxing.”

I try sucking up: “According to my pals on Facebook, your fan base ranges from 7-year-old girls to 46-year-old women, all of whom say hello.”

”Awesome. Tell them I said ‘hi’ back.”

Ooo, results. I press on: “If I said that to Chris Daughtry, he’d probably shoot himself. What’s your reaction?”

”Yeah, I’m just glad I have fans, you know.”

OK, one step forward, two steps back. I was a big Cook fan during that season of Idol, and not only do I really want to like him, but I want him to come across as likeable in this interview. But I’m starting to sweat a little, and I don’t think it’s the humidity.

I dig deep: “What’s the question you wish every interviewer would ask, but they never do?”

”I feel like I’ve been asked everything I want to be asked, to be honest with you.”

Ouch. Back to the obvious: “What kind of reaction are you getting on the tour?”

”I feel like a good one, like we are able to strike a chord with people,” he says. “Being on the road, with the economy the way it is, it’s hard to know how it will go, but it’s been good.”

I note that the tickets for his MGM show are ridiculously affordable, at $20, $35, and $45 (note: there are only a handful of $20 seats remaining).

”I want people to come to the shows,” Cook explains. “No matter how I got to this point, I am a new artist, and so any way we can get people into the door. I want people to get into this record, and we’ve got to have them listen to it first.”

One stop for Cook this summer was opening the Home Run Derby during Major League Baseball’s All-Star break.

”Never mind the fact that we got to do it at all – that was amazing – but to be a part of the festivities of the All-Stars, I’m a big baseball fan. That was a kid-in-a-candy-store thing for me.”

Speaking of starry-eyed, I tell Cook that what I most appreciated about him during his stint on Idol and right after he won was his sense of appreciation of what was happening all around him.

”You always took a moment to just sort of drink it all in,” I tell him. “During the finale, you looked around and it was like you were thinking, ‘Remember this, remember this.’ You did the same thing after you played that first time on SNL, where you finished the song and you gave this little sigh and looked like, ‘Holy crap, I just played Saturday Night Live.’ Is it still like that for you or are you a jaded rock star now?”

Cook gives a little laugh.

”Oh, it’s still like that for me,” he says. “I mean, who gets to do this? Ever?”

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Set List

6.Straight Ahead
8.Died In Yo Arms
11.Light On


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11.Light On

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