Record Review: Phil Cook and His Feat

by | Jul 11, 2011 | Reviews

Phil Cook and His Feat
Hungry Mother Blues
Raleigh, NC

“Old-time folk for young first-timers”

Phil Cook has had a lot on his plate. In the past year, he’s recorded two albums with his main band Megafaun, contributed to Gayngs’ debut album Relayted, and performed in the revival of Alan Lomax’s folk collection Sounds of the South. And if that’s not enough, he’s also about to become a father for the first time. It’s no surprise, then, that Cook only gave himself one day – during a rare North Carolina ice storm – to record his second solo effort, Hungry Mother Blues.

While only 8 tracks deep and just over 18 minutes long, Cook exhibits impressive variety and skill. Songs like “Waiting Around the Oven Buns” and “The Last Steam Engine Train” display his proficiency on banjo and lap steel guitar, two instruments he learned to play while Megafaun toured extensively throughout the US and Europe. Cook also multitasks on every track: using no overdubs, he plucks a string instrument while simultaneously playing a harmonica, or stomping on a tambourine or bass drum. With this much action happening between his hands and “Feat” (yes, the backing band His Feat are his feet), Cook decides to forgo vocal melodies. Yet, the emotional and highly melodic nature of his fingerpicking is enough to carry his songs through any storm. (Trekky Records)

Recorded by Phil Cook // Mixed and mastered by BJ Burton at Modern Recording, Chapel Hill, NC