Here's a few quotes, with some full articles below...
"Cook and his band can, at times, really, er, heat things up. But, again, they cool
things off and lighten things up with singalong lyrics that usually fall on the Jimmy
Buffet side of seriousness. Not that the The UnHerd-
Calgary Sun, Calgary, AB
Cook's singing voice did credit to good-
Edson Leader, Edson, AB
"It's impossible not to be swept up in the carefree nature of this fresh-
Red Deer Express, Red Deer, AB
"…Bob and his non-
The Edmonton Examiner, Edmonton, AB
"Bob Cook & the Unherd-
"Bob's rap is more like a time-
What's On Queen Magazine, Toronto, Canada
"Bob Cook is an amazing fellow and we can be thankful the Vancouver native chose Edmonton as his new home nearly three years ago. Not only does he supply a constant supply of quirky, spirited music which he calls "bomp'n'roll", but he also keeps his eyes on the world around him rather than just his own personal little sphere."
VUE Magazine, Edmonton, AB
"He takes the punk attitude of Bob Dylan and couples it with the more introspective feel of young Leonard Cohen and marries the two to produce a quirky Canadian idiosyncratic but enjoyable, lyrical expression that is at one and the same time laid back and poignant"
Artery Magazine, Toronto, Canada
Following Bob’s Herd -
by Mike Bell
There are several different tip-
You can just listen to them, and get a pretty good feel for what they can do in a room.
Or, you can look for songs about beer, drinking beer and other beer-
But a better bet is looking for songs that celebrate the freedom of being au natural.
For example, Forget What You Herd, the latest disc from Edmonton-
It all, as they say, starts here.
“We have a lot of fun as a party band — when you play a full evening at a place it just gets crazier as the night goes on that’s for sure,” says frontman Cook before getting rather philosophical.
“You can go heavy, you can go light and there’s room for both in this world, and sometimes at the same time.”
Well, most of the heaviness in the Vancouver native’s material comes from the instrumentation.
Cook and his band can, at times, really, er, heat things up.
But, again, they cool things off and lighten things up with singalong lyrics that
usually fall on the Jimmy Buffet side of seriousness, including a track called Chuck
the Head, about a torso-
Not that the The UnHerd-
“You take what you do seriously but you don’t take yourself seriously,” says Cook, who brings the band to the Ironwood Aug. 4.
“It takes a a long time to figure that out but it’s a pretty good formula for anything in this world.”
And musically, Cook finds the best formula to follow is one of your own choosing.
For that reason, the band incorporates an incredible variety of styles and sounds into their material.
Forget What You Herd contains everything from reggae, to country, to blues, to rock and whatever else anyone wants to contribute.
“It’s partly out of laziness,” Cook says, noting he’s not the type to sit down and
work on a three-
“Another part of it is the fact that I just get bored with any one particular thing.
“And I also really like to open up their personalities of those who are playing with us.”
Bomp and circumstance
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
With Leeroy Stagger and the Sinking Hearts and Abe Wells •
Sidetrack Café • Fri, Feb 25
After moving to River City from Vancouver a couple years ago, Bob Cook and the new
and improved UnHerd-
And with the release of their new album, Forget What You’ve Herd, people will be able to take the magic home with them at the end of the night. Even though several of the songs appeared on the six discs he put out himself while on the coast, this time around Cook says he’s taking a more professional approach to getting his music out there. “They haven’t really seen the light of day anyway,” he says, “so we made them nice and slick and all that good stuff. Of course, we’re a lot tighter and the sound is a lot more polished than it ever was with my old band.”
The way Cook figures things, the time is right for UnHerd-
Aside from facilitating connections, Cook’s music has always been about defying convention
and getting people to do their own thing in life. “The original concept of the UnHerd-
“You realize that what you listen to is so much a part of who you are; it really becomes your food. So I definitely try to design it as a nutritious snack.” (PD)
Special to the Edson Leader
Monday December 06, 2004
This arrangement seemed to agree with Cook and his guitarist, Chris Durand -
The first night, also the first gig with the new drummer, Jeremy Seater, was spotted heavily with blues songs. I accused Cook of trying to sneak blues back into our culture by playing it without advertising it.
Cook's singing voice did credit to good-
Durand, with his Fender guitar, crazy wah wah pedal and wide brimmed hat, might have
blended in better with Blues Traveler, yet shared a great on-
Twice. Odd behaviour for self-
The opposing end of the spectrum was represented on the raised part of the stage:
a young, cocky, long-
Not so, according to Bob.
He said they're a close-
Cook kept up a healthy mix of cover songs and originals.
His song, "I'd rather be nude", was inspired by, and at, everybody's favourite clothing-
When it came to old-
The playlist the next night seemed to follow a theme of love songs, but definitely no trends such as genre or pace were followed.
The band traversed from rock n' roll to reggae to silly to blues to love in the space
of the same number of songs. This playlist could use a tune-
Cook did excellent Doors' songs including "Roadhouse Blues", followed by an original, "Let Yourself Free" that smacked of Bob Marley.
As with every band, the audience wanted them to play ACDC. Why is ACDC so big in Edson?! Another voice kept screaming for "the Ramones" but only once out loud. When Cook did Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", he did not give any photographer the finger like Johnny did; even when asked.
Cook gave off a vibe during his silly song "Chuck the head" that reminded me of summer
During a set break, Cook and I discussed yoga and meditation. He's a long-
Use your powers for good, not evil son. And he does -
Until that time, I hope he learns some Ramones and returns to Edson, pronto.
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
By Adam Goring
Tuesday December 21, 2004
Banff Crag & Canyon — Ready for a musical Christmas like you’ve never Herd before?
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
Though the band, with a sound dubbed bomp ’n’ roll, doesn’t normally get too Christmassy, Cook says the band’s got a few things up its sleeve.
“We’ve got a reggae version of We Three Kings that’s gonna get all mystical,” says Cook from his home in Edmonton.
“We’ve got a stompin’ version of Jingle Bells.”
Aside from the yuletide fare, the band will also be playing material that will appear on its upcoming album, to be released in February at the Sidetrack Café in Edmonton. The album is yet untitled.
“The one that I’m partial to is Only the Fool is Free,” said Cook, meaning for it to be interpreted as “only someone who has nothing to lose is free.”
The “polished album” is a 12-
The band has an extensive list of covers and originals, of which the ratio will be
about a 75-
Covers include some from The Doors, CCR, Bob Marley and Johnny Cash. They once included Led Zeppelin, explains Cook, who received that request at a recent show.
“We segued into a 20-
Bouncy band to perform
Monday November 22, 2004
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
Cook is a prolific writer who has recorded six albums and written over 300 songs.
He moved to Edmonton three years ago from Vancouver and met his current bandmates through various jams.
He said his songs are about the pursuit of something higher. “They have gotten sillier and simplier – life and the depth of the soul,” said Cook.
His band wanted to come to Edson because Cook said they heard Castaways is a great spot to perform. “We love getting out and touring all over the place. Edson sounds like a nice place,” he added.
The latest CD, “Bouncing Songs for a Spinning World”, will be released in the new year. Cook plans to perform some of the CD’s tunes this weekend.
Nothing quite like Bob's home Cook'in'
Hello Bonnyville! Are you ready to bomp'n'roll?
Bob Cook & the UnHerd-
"The bomp'n'roll is something that just kind of developed," said frontman Bob Cook.
"We actualy cross into a numbe of different genres, but it has kind of a fun bouncy sound to it... The overall kind of bouncy upbeat sound is what became the bomp'n'roll sound."
From Chuck the Head -
Lately, that purpose has been to attract attention to issues that, according to Cook, mainstream media tend to ignore. His Percy Schmeiser benefit concert, for example, was put on to raise money for Schmeiser's legal fees.
Even though Monsanto withdrew allegations that seeds were obtained and used without a patent and a federal judge acknowledged the seed movement could have been due to natural movement, Schmeiser was still found guilty of patent violations.
The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court where a ruling is still pending (Update: Percy lost... visit www.PercySchmeiser.com to learn more).
Cook's show was called a great success, raising both the profile of the issue and substantial donations.
"The Percy show was a great one," Cook said. "I read an article about it in January
and it just kind of blew my mind... GMOs and the biotech companies -
Cook also recently took his guitar and amp to an Edmonton theatre and, for a week, played his song "When the Corporations Rule the World" twice a night before the screening of the film The Corporation.
"I had the whole theatre clapping. It's a pretty tongue-
"The first number of years was very intense writing and a lot of inner exploration and soul exploration and inner consciousness, all of these deep, crazy things that one must go into in their life and come to a relationship with existence. These kind of things usually give you lots of material to write about," he said.
Besides performing original music, Cook & the UnHerd-
"A lot of the stuff we specialize in I used to love when I was a kid. I like a lot of the older music. I don't really relate to a lot of the new music out there... I like songs that are kind of catchy. Nothing too cliche. Stuff that's kind of upbeat and fun songs that have a good hook to it or angle to it," he said.
Though he enjoys playing covers, Cook said nothing beats cranking out original songs. "I love playing my own music more than anything," he said.
To get a taste of Cook and the UnHerd-
'Folk'n Roll' with feisty band
Red Deer Express/Adviser
Who'd have thought a touch of reggae would fit with plucky, energetic folk/rock stylings?
Enter the Edmonton-
"We love to play a rollicking, upbeat, fun, bouncing music, which has come to known as our 'Bomp' sound," explains Cook, the group's lead singer and guitarist. Rounding out the band are bassist/vocalist Dave Farhall, drummer Scott Davidchuk and lead guitarist/vocalist Chris Durand.
Creative limits? Forget it.
"I love to give the boys and myself free license to explore whatever we play in a fresh way each night, in the true sense of a jam band that wants to keep it ever interesting for our audience and ourselves."
Cook himself is a prolific singer-
Then along came the rich influence of Dylan, and a fresh mode of expression was born. "He was a huge influence on me," he says.
Cook bought his first guitar in Paris. He wrote his first song three days later in Switzerland. Weeks later, he was busking in Greece. He's pretty much felt at home on the stage ever since. "I haven't stopped," he chuckles.
He went on to record four discs in his hometown of Vancouver, and two with his current band.
A signature style?
Diversity is the key -
That suits Cook -
But in spite of the light-
"There's almost always a song in my head," he says.
He doesn't listen to much at home -
"Sometimes, if you have too much of someone else's music in your head, you can't hear your own." Meditation is a favourite activity, and fuel for the creative process, he says.
This weekend marks the band's first stint in Red Deer, and they're excited about broadening their fan base across the province. They've signed on as a house band this summer at Sylvan Lake's Pier 7 Pub as well.
Whatever the venue, for Cook, a more fitting path in life could hardly be imagined.
"I just dance all over the stage, and have a great time."
Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
bring 'bomp & roll' to GP
Grande Prairie Encore! Magazine -
There are a lot of genre's Bob Cook and the UnHerd-
Cook and his band -
"It's not quite rock 'n' roll," said Cook in an interview last week. "We started to develop a bouncing, bomping kind of thing that's starting to cross a bit into country, a bit into reggae and everything in between."
While the band, which has been together for about a year, does do cover tunes depending on the venue, Cook's original material makes up a good portion of what they really love to play.
"We do a lot of jamming as well. I like to give the boys free license to interpret the songs," said Cook. "I think it keeps it fresh."
A prolific songwriter with more than 300 originals penned to date, Cook himself has
recorded six original albums and is currently working on putting together an "Un-
The band recently took on another project in an April 21 fundraising concert for
Percy Schmeiser, the 73-
"I was just blown away by what's going on," said Cook of the situation. "We wanted to raise awareness for this cause as well as some funds for Percy's legal defense."
While Cook and the band's performances are focused on the world in which they live, the songwriter notes his songs come from somewhere else.
"It's mostly through meditation," he said. "I got into exploring the inner worlds and as I explored the songs started popping out of them."
Cook admits many of his tunes are fun and sometimes rather silly, but says that's
the joy of making music. "A good philosophy is always to banish the idea of any other
negative thoughts and really go after what you actually want. That's where I usually
try to work from -
"The songs that I create are very happy, upbeat, bouncing music because that's what I want to put out there. Once you've taken care of that and you've put forward what you do want, well the things you don't want tend to...there's no room for them," he said.
Bob Cook and the Un-
Bob Cook & the UnHerd-
VUE Magazine, Edmonton.
Bob Cook is an amazing fellow and we can be thankful the Vancouver native chose Edmonton as his new home nearly three years ago. Not only does he supply a constant supply of quirky, spirited music which he calls "bomp'n'roll", but he also keeps his eyes on the world around him rather than just his own personal little sphere.
Cook credits the songs of Bob Dylan with spurring him to become a writer and helping him find his voice. "I've written a number of songs that are a bit more pointed, I've also written a lot of fun and sillier as well as a lot of deeper, more spiritual kind of things," Cook says over the phone from his phone, where he's keeping an eye on his new baby. "To put ideas out through song is the most powerful means as far as I've ever known and I think all through history it's been that way."
While he isn't travelling around the country with his songs, Cook has been spending
his home time recording his seventh CD with the Unherd-
Although he says he's never been a traditional sort of activist, Cook picked up a
copy of Common Ground magazine back in January and became inspired by the case of
Percy Schmeiser, the 73 year-
The case raises many complicated legal and philosophical issues, but the biggest question is whether DNA can be patented and owned. The government of Canada has supported Monsanto's research and development and is now leaving the controversy up to the courts. Meanwhile, after spending another year in the Federal Court of Appeals where three more judges upheld the original ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear the case, which began in January 2004. A ruling is still pending.
"I had the voice in my head for a while and it just didn't really want to let go,"
says Cook, who quickly hatched the idea of holding a benefit concert to help defray
Schmeiser's enormous legal fees (which now exceed $300,000). "So I approached the
Sidetrack and they gave me a date to go ahead... The precent set right now will have
huge implications even in the next five to 10 years because all these biotech companies
are going after DNA. I mean, it's a huge hunt to find the DNA's of certain things,
isolate them and patent them as quickly as possible. There's a race right now -
Unfortunately, Schmeiser's case seems to be better known around the world than it is in Canada. Although he'll try to make an appearance at the Sidetrack, Schmeiser's flying in from Italy the night before where he's speaking about the case. He's travelled the world over the last few years as attention on his case has grown. Cook has tried to do his part as well to get the word out about Schmeiser's struggle, and has posted links on his website (www.bobcook.ca) to a variety of references and resources including the Common Ground article that inspired him in the first place.
For the benefit of Mr. Schmeiser
(and generations to come)
Bob Cook speaks up about a court case that must not remain Unherd Of
PERCY SCHMEISER BENEFIT CONCERT, SIDETRACK CAFE, APRIL 21
SEE Magazine, Edmonton. April 15, 2004
While the name of 73-
The case is intricate, but in a nutshell revolves around Schmeiser’s battle with
"Farmers are being intimidated by corporations because their genetically-
After reading about Schmeiser’s case in a Vancouver-
"God willing, the Supreme Court will rule in favour of Percy Schmeiser or we’ll all be toast for the next 100 years and so will our kids."
My Compliments to the Cook
VUE Magazine, Edmonton
When it comes to music, Vancouver native Bob Cook is no newcomer. He's been writing
and recording music for the last decade out on the coast, with six albums under his
belt. In these parts, though, he's a rookie -
Although he misses a few things about Lotus Land, Edmonton has been treating him
just right. "It's a nice-
When he first got to town, he met his future bandmates -
Cook plays an upbeat folk'n'roll with quirky, humourous lyrics reminiscent of Harry Chapin, with songs like "All Things Weird & Wonderful" and "Carla the Escaping Cow" showing off his knack for zany yet lyrical imagery. "The absurd is the only thing that makes sense these days," he says. "The notion of paradox is the only thing that really runs everything. So the absurd comes out of the paradox of life. I mean, paradox comes out of duality and life is based on duality. it's everywhere, male/female, you can't escape it in nature."
Cook's music and life have been influenced by his exploration of Taoism, Zen Buddhism and meditation. "I started meditating and exploring stuff a long time ago," he says, "10 or 12 years ago, and that's when I first started to play music. First I got into meditation and then I started writing stuff right out of it. It just filled me up and bang! songs started coming. I had to start writing stuff down and I haven't stopped."
That's why he, and his non-
They call it Bompin' Rootsy' Folk'n'Roll.
They recently got top marks at the BC and Alberta Talent and Variety Contest in Bonnyville, Alta.
The band will go on to the finals in Vancouver this September.
Bob Cook & the Unherd-
But, Cook says, his seemingly ludicrous lyrics bear fruits of profundity for those who care to pluck them.
Chuck the Head was inspired by his daughter's broken Rug Rat toy, but is really about weathering loneliness.
"Armpit Harry (Hairy Armpit) is really about not being afraid of the bum on the street, and judging society's unshaven underside," says Cook.
The band will play May 30 at Fatboyz (6104 104 St.). There is no cover charge and the show starts at 9:30. They are also playing at this year's Works Festival at the end of June.
"I like the roll end of rock more than the rock end of roll," say Cook, who has self-
His current band combines reggae, folk and roots rhythms to create "happy, bouncing music," says Cook.
"When you write songs you're bringing something out of nothing, across the threshold
from the spiritual world in the material world," he says. "Ironically, the more soul-
Cook says at the end of the day it's up to people to choose how to perceive the world.
And, he think he might as well have fun with it -