Scott Cook & The Second Chances

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What is there to say about Scott Cook which has likely not already been said? For an artist who has circled the globe more than once touring and performing his music steadily over the past 7 years, it seems a tremendous feat to put words to what he has accomplished as an independent artist and be somewhat original.  I can speak to what I experienced as an audience member here at Serenity Performing Arts Centre, one of the countless shows he has performed to a multitude of venues and crowds.

Scott Cook gives the impression of a man who has gotten to know himself quite well and is suited to who he is just fine. He is casually charming and confident without a hint of bravado. Serenity’s venue owner Shirley deVooght judges the character of the artists she books almost as highly as their musical talent, and Scott Cook’s name has come up often in both categories since he last played here 3 years ago.


Joined by his acoustic band mates The Second Chances consisting of Bramwell Park on banjo, guitar and harmony vocals, and Melissa Walker on upright bass and harmonies, Scott Cook serenaded the room with songs that told tales with intricacy and wit, while the trio delivered fluent musicianship with exquisite timing.

A touch of whimsical nature lies within the heart of this vegabond songwriter. There is an undeniable twinkle in his eye that tells of adventures had and lessons learned. If one was to do the math his age is easily placed, but he possesses a sly youthful gaze that omits a Peter Pan-like energy which is dazzling and interesting to say the least. But one should expect nothing less from a man whose voice can breeze right through you like a warm summer wind and beckon down into the depths of the most hardened of hearts. With hands as strong as oak, they brushed over his guitar with the softness and quickness of a hummingbird’s wings. I delighted in the show from start to finish.

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When you can sit back in the comfort of a venue that treats both its performers and audience with the warmest of hospitality and kindness, every show becomes its own unique experience and beautiful memory. Reflecting on Scott Cook’s performance, it was the details in the stories of his songs that he delivered with both sincere intention and a healthy dose of fun that truly stood out.

He mentioned the network of house concert opportunities he has had the pleasure of connecting himself with over the years and how these shows have kept him afloat in the sea of bars and less-than-appealing “gigs” he has had to endure in order to keep himself employed as a full time musician. It is the connection that house concerts breed that I imagine is a desirable and gratifying experience for any artist, but not all can win over a room with as much ease and talent as Scott Cook.

From the looks of his website, Scott Cook never stops. After only being back in Canada for a few weeks following his 3 month tour in Australia, Scott Cook is globe trotting yet again as he embarks on a UK tour running from April 24 – June 14, 2015. When he returns he will head right into a North American tour with his full electric band The Long Weekends for their album release “Scott Cook & The Long Weekends Go Long.”

Fellow Canadian artist and touring musician Jeff Pike from Windborn was here on a mid-tour stop with his family to take in Scott Cook’s show and said, “I’ve never come across a musician who has lyrically nailed the musician’s life so perfectly.” It’s no surprise that Scott has an unending number of musicians that rally to his side in each corner of the world (including his home-away-from-home Taiwan) to accompany him on stage. From a constant touring schedule, to designing his own album art, to writing personal essays to share with his fans, this Edmonton-based artist is one of a kind.

Choice highlights: “When We’re Back Around” – the tender-hearted lyrics coupled with the melodies of the band sparked something special; “The Bus Song” – it is a safe assumption that this tune is enjoyed by most as a quick witted tale with a Johnny Cash flare; “The Lord Giveth (and the Landlord Taketh Away)” – because who doesn’t dig a song about sticking it to “the man.”

Scott Cook & The Second Chances performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on April 9, 2015.

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