|January 21st at 7pm|
One Columbus Center
Springfield, MA 01103
|Ticket Prices: $35; $30
Member Prices: $29.98; $25.73
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|After Juno Award-winning guitarist Jesse Cook got his hands on a copy of Adele's 21 and played it excessively, he set out to tackle a long simmering personal objective and create a 'blue mood' record. Spending the summer of 2011 cottage hopping with his family, Cook set about writing material for The Blue Guitar Sessions, his eighth studio album. It was released on September 18 in Canada and September 25 here in the U.S.
For the 47-year-old Toronto resident, who was born in Paris, this record is much different from the rumba flamenco for which he is best known. Indeed, he has been a leading proponent of the genre since bursting onto the world music scene with 1995's Tempest. Among his many accolades, in 2008, he won the silver medal in Acoustic Guitar magazine's prestigious Players' Choice Awards behind the legendary Paco De Lucia.
Cook has steered clear of anything resembling flamenco on this record, producing a sound that allows listeners to appreciate each musician's contribution. To do so he also battled his natural instinct to fill in space. The result is a captivating 14-track album recorded on a pair of vintage microphones, which he had exhaustively searched for to replicate the mood of recordings from the Miles Davis era. Sound is of the utmost importance to him as a musician, producer and engineer. The Blue Guitar Sessions is best enjoyed through a room-filling home stereo system - like the old days. A glass of shiraz next to the fireplace is optional.
"Broken Moon" features his extraordinary guitar accompanied by cellist Amy Laing while Tom Szczesniak adds accordion to "Witching Hour" a melodic composition hinting at Cook's Parisian roots.
Toronto vocalist Emma-Lee makes an appearance on "I Put a Spell on You", a cover of the song written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins and popularised by Nina Simone and Jeff Beck. Long time collaborator violinist Chris Church makes several appearances in just the right spots.
Audiences will soon discover how well The Blue Guitar Sessions translates to live performances. Cook embarked on a worldwide tour this September, beginning with European dates. A major Canadian tour will follow before he ventures south for a five-month U.S. tour, starting in January of 2013, stopping at CityStage in downtown Springfield MA on January 21.
~ Written by Paul Gains/Edited by Bevan Brunelle