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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-of are a joke band — they’re just a band that doesn’t mind a joke or two or music with a little levity... the band incorporates an incredible variety of styles and sounds into their material"

         Calgary Sun, Calgary, AB


Cook's singing voice did credit to good-timey rock n' roll songs, as did his Elvis-like dance moves, antics channeling Jerry Lee Lewis, and fashion sense courtesy of Jeff Spicoli. His song, "I'd rather be nude", was inspired by, and at, everybody's favourite clothing-optional hotspot in Vancouver -- Wreck Beach. It's a swingin' tune rivaling the likes of cool surf rock. The band traversed from rock n' roll to reggae to silly to blues to love in the space of the same number of songs... they were executed with great talent and enthusiasm."

         Edson Leader, Edson, AB


"It's impossible not to be swept up in the carefree nature of this fresh-sounding slate of tunes. But in spite of the light-hearted nature of his music, there's a striking sincerity… A signature style? Diversity is the key - the guys deftly weave together threads of rock, folk, and roots. Inject a touch of reggae, and you come close to pinpointing their unmistakable sound."

Red Deer Express, Red Deer, AB


"…Bob and his non-conformist sidekicks - the UnHerd-of - have forged their own style of spirit-rousing music."

         The Edmonton Examiner, Edmonton, AB


"Bob Cook & the Unherd-of!, with a self-described folk, rock, reggae-ska, bluegrass style, entertained the crowd with a unique performance that definitely set them apart."

         Bonnyville Post-Gazette, Bonnyville, AB


"Bob's rap is more like a time-traveller than a musician…"

         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 - Bob Cook & The UnHerd-of perform at the Ironwood Aug. 4


by Mike Bell

Calgary Sun


There are several different tip-offs that a band may be — to quote skinny, hairy rock icon Kim Mitchell — a “wild party.”


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-related activities — all are usually pretty good indicators.


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-based party roots rockers Bob Cook & The UnHerd-of, contains a saucy little number called I’d Rather Be Nude.


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-less dude, and Papaya Pie, which is about pie that is, oddly enough, made from papaya.


Not that the The UnHerd-of are a joke band — they’re just a band that doesn’t mind a joke or two or music with a little levity.


“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-minute pop song for hours at a time.


“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-Of (CD release) •

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-Of band have been moving and shaking the Alberta scene. With their jovial, upbeat style of folk music, which they’ve dubbed bomp ’n’ roll, Bob Cook and the boys have been winning over bars and festivals alike all across the western plains.


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-Of, whose sound follows the template of versatile and fun-loving jam bands like the Grateful Dead, are ripe to take on the world—or at least our little corner of it. “[The Dead] could play anywhere, anyhow to anybody and just play for an hour or go all night—it didn’t really make a difference—and we’ve got a lot of that going on,” he says. “That’s the kind of model I like to take. We just take a road show with us wherever we go. It’s great; you meet great people no matter where you go and as long as you make that connection, it doesn’t really matter who it’s with.”


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-Of was exactly that—not of the herd—and to really promote some alternative things,” he says. “Consciousness as well as ideas and politics—all of those things combined was the original ideal, to integrate that with the music. It’s just a lot of fun, light-hearted music that hopefully pokes the brain a little bit, but also lifts it up a little bit too.


“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)



Cook delivers



Marc Fehr

Special to the Edson Leader

Monday December 06, 2004


This arrangement seemed to agree with Cook and his guitarist, Chris Durand -- who Cook jokingly called a "lush". Durand agreed "and then some".


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-timey rock n' roll songs, as did his Elvis-like dance moves, antics channeling Jerry Lee Lewis, and fashion sense courtesy of Jeff Spicoli. Oh wait, that's the 80s. Nuff said.


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-stage chemistry with Cook; not to mention kissing guitars.


Twice. Odd behaviour for self-professed sex gods.


The opposing end of the spectrum was represented on the raised part of the stage: a young, cocky, long-haired bassist and a young, cocky, hipster drummer with no hair. Young versus not-so-young? Musical differences of a generation?


Not so, according to Bob.


He said they're a close-knit band. When it comes to solos, lead-ins and endings, the respective musician has free licence to play what and how he pleases -- within reason.


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-optional hotspot in Vancouver -- Wreck Beach. It's a swingin' tune rivaling the likes of cool surf rock.


When it came to old-school, his most impressive covers were "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis, "Hound dog" by Elvis, Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy", and a classic crowd pleaser and mood-elevator, "Summertime Blues".


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-up on the transitions. All the same, they were executed with great talent and enthusiasm.

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 camp, sing-alongs, Raffy and Valdy. During our talk, I politely and subtly suggested Cook may want to look into children's entertainment. "I keep hearing that. My agent is pushing for it. In that direction," he said. I knew it. I get the feeling he's just waiting until he's a little older, with a longer beard, to break that market.


During a set break, Cook and I discussed yoga and meditation. He's a long-time thinker -- heavy into the pursuit of Zen through meditation. In his younger days Bob achieved a marketing degree, then defiantly opposed these teachings by working for the anti-commercial, anti-conformist company (and magazine) out of Vancouver called "Adbusters".


Use your powers for good, not evil son. And he does -- Bob is fighting the good fight with songs like "When the corporations rule the world" (ha, 'when') and eventually, I bet, by shaping the minds of our nation's children.

Until that time, I hope he learns some Ramones and returns to Edson, pronto.



Bob Cook and the UnHerd-of ready to Christmas it at the Rose


By Adam Goring

SummitUP staff

Tuesday December 21, 2004


Banff Crag & Canyon — Ready for a musical Christmas like you’ve never Herd before?


Bob Cook and the UnHerd-of, hailing from Edmonton, will be making their second stop at the Banff Rose & Crown starting this Tuesday, Dec. 21, for a three-night stint.


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-track offering, featuring the new band backing up Cook. It was tracked in the home studio of Cook, who also did all the production and engineering for the album.


The band has an extensive list of covers and originals, of which the ratio will be about a 75-25 split respectively for the Rose.


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-minute medley of Led Zep off the top of our heads,” he says. “We pulled it off in a very odd way.”



Bouncy band to perform

An Edmonton-based band is bringing their “bomp ‘n’ roll’ music to Edson this weekend.


Tamara Stecyk

Leader staff

Monday November 22, 2004


Bob Cook and the UnHerd-of will be making their Edson debut at Castaways Friday and Saturday.


Bob Cook and the UnHerd-of is a four-piece roots-rock band. “Bomp is something that we developed. It’s a bouncy sound,” said Cook. “We love to play a rollicking, upbeat, fun, bouncing music, drawing on all styles, which has come to be known as our ‘bomp’ sound.”


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'


Alyssa Noel

Bonnyville Post-Gazette


Hello Bonnyville! Are you ready to bomp'n'roll?


Bob Cook & the UnHerd-of! are. In fact, the four-piece band is gearing up to bring their unique blend of folk,rock and roots - otherwise self-described as "bomp" - to the Lakeland Music Fest.


"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 - a song about both his daughter's broken rug rat toy and, on a deeper level, weathering loneliness - to All Things Weird & Wonderful, Cook's songs delve into a variety of topics. He said he doesn't see the point of writing lyrics without a purpose.


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.


The 73-year old Saskatchewan farmer has been in legal battles with the multinational bio-technology corporation Monsanto since 1998. Monsanto too Schmeiser to court after they found their patented genetically modified canola crowing in Schmeiser's roadside ditch.


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 - what's going on with that is staggering. We are the food experiment for that one."


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-in-cheek little song," he said.


Some tongue-in-cheek and some just plain quirky, Cook has written nearly 300 songs and recorded six CDs since he first picked up a guitar in Paris during a post-college tour of Europe. In Switzerland three days after buying the guitar, Cook wrote his first song. A few weeks later he was busking in Greece.


"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-of! - Jeremy Seater on drums, Chris Durand on lead guitar and Dave Farhall on bass - also play cover tunes varying from Bob Dylan to Bob Marley.


"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-of's bomp'n'roll before Music Fest, tune into A-Channel's Big Breakfast July 29 at 8:30 am.



'Folk'n Roll' with feisty band


Mark Weber

Red Deer Express/Adviser

Who'd have thought a touch of reggae would fit with plucky, energetic folk/rock stylings?


Enter the Edmonton-based band Bob Cook & the Unherd-of. The guys play The Vat Friday and Saturday.


"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-songwriter, having penned more than 300 tunes. It all came about rather unexpectedly, during a post-university venture through Europe. "I quit the world as I knew it, and started to explore another one." A career in marketing wasn't exactly compelling, but a trek into music hadn't been seriously considered either. Cook had always loved music, but he didn't even tackle guitar until he was in his early 20s.


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 - the guys deftly weave together threads of rock, folk, and roots. Inject a touch of reggae, and you come close to pinpointing their unmistakable sound. Consider the sunlit tones of Our Little Boat of Love, or the quirky joy of All Things Weird and Wonderful. It's impossible not to be swept up in the carefree nature of this fresh-sounding slate of tunes.


That suits Cook - there's enough soul-searching melancholic yearnings to be heard.


But in spite of the light-hearted nature of his music, there's a striking sincerity. And the ideas just keep coming.


"There's almost always a song in my head," he says.


He doesn't listen to much at home - aside from his wife's impeccable piano performances.


"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-Of

bring 'bomp & roll' to GP


Diana Rinne

Grande Prairie Encore! Magazine - April 23, 2004


There are a lot of genre's Bob Cook and the UnHerd-of take on, but basically it's "Bomp & Roll", says the Edmonton-based musician.


Cook and his band - Dave Farhall, Chris Durand and Pascal Lecours - make a return trip to Grande Prairie, April 30-May 1 for a weekend gig at BJ's Q Club.


"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-herd of" CD, in his Edmonton studio.


The band recently took on another project in an April 21 fundraising concert for Percy Schmeiser, the 73-year-old Saskatchewan farmer who has been in legal battles with Monsanto Corporation for more than five years over the alleged use of genetically modified canola seed.


"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 - don't worry about what isn't there, worry about what you want to see.


"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-Herd Of play BJ's Q Club, April 30-May 1.


Seed Money


Bob Cook & the UnHerd-of host "Percy Schmeiser vs. Monsanto Benefit Concert", with The George Bushes and Dale Ladoceur & the Broke Ensemble - Sidetrack Cafe, Wed. April 21.


Jenny Feniak

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-of's current lineup of Dave Farhall, Chris Durand and Pascal Lecours. He'll be playing the upcoming show at the Sidetrack with the guys, but he's also running around on his own this week, raising funds and awareness for a greater cause.


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-old Saskatchewan farm who was taken to court in 1998 by the multinational bio-technology firm Monsanto after they found their patented GM (genetically modified) canola seed growing in his roadside ditch. Schmeiser and his wife are third-generation canola farmers who've spent the last 50 years developing and saving canola seed suitable to prairie conditions and resistant to common diseases. But even though Monsanto withdrew all allegations that the Schmeisers obtained and used their seed without license, and even though the federal court judge acknowledge natural causes such as cross pollination and direct seed movement (wind, birds, bees) could have accounted for Monsanto's seed ending up on Schmeiser's property, Schmeiser was still found guilty of patent violation. Not only did Schmeiser lose his crop that year, but he was also ordered to surrender all his organic research seeds and plants to Monsanto - which meant he could never grow his own canola again.


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 - it's like a gold rush. It's unbelievable and it's happening without us knowing about it."


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


Heather Adler

SEE Magazine, Edmonton. April 15, 2004


While the name of 73-year-old Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser might not sound familiar to most of us, local songwriter-turned-activist Bob Cook (along with his bandmates the Unherd Of and his colleauges in The George Bushes and Dale Ladoceur and the Broke Ensemble) is hoping to change all that with a concert this week. Schmeiser’s name, as Cook asserts, is important to us all because he’s currently in the midst of a typical David-versus-Goliath legal battle, which has anything but typical implications.


The case is intricate, but in a nutshell revolves around Schmeiser’s battle with the genetically-modified seed manufacturer, Monsanto, whose dominant plants overtook his organic fields after being blown in by the wind. Monsanto claims the farmer owes them a licensing fee for growing their superior-gene-loaded plants, while Schmeiser is left outraged by their "ownership" of a life form (especially since it was one he never wanted).


"Farmers are being intimidated by corporations because their genetically-modified seeds are dominant genes, so they take over anything in their path. Farmers aren’t allowed to save their seeds, which is huge because they’ve been doing it for centuries," Cook explains. "The most important fact about this is that patents have been put out by corporations and they own the life on what they’ve created–it’s scary."


After reading about Schmeiser’s case in a Vancouver-based magazine, Cook says he was compelled to take whatever action he could to make people aware of what was going on; being a veteran of the music community, he naturally turned to his guitar. "We’re trying to raise a few thousand bucks for his legal defense with the show, but we also just want people to know what’s going on," Cook explainss. "Nobody even knows about this but we’re the experiment, and that’s the scary part. Think about the implications of biotechs being able to own a life form itself: it’s not just about our food supply.


"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


Phil Dupperson

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 - Cook recently moved here to start a family, and after several months of living with very little sleep, he's finally been able to put together a new band and start performing again.


Although he misses a few things about Lotus Land, Edmonton has been treating him just right. "It's a nice-sized town," says Cook. "Vancouver's just so big and so expensive. It's a lot of work just to survive down there. Here it's a much nicer size and people are very friendly."


When he first got to town, he met his future bandmates - bassist Dave Farhall and drummer Scott Davidchuk (both of the Wowzers) - at an open stage. They hit it off right away, but Cook's new fathering duties kept him from hitting the stage until this weekend.


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."



Unherd-of group gets it name known at talent show


Jennifer Parks

Edmonton Examiner


For singer-songwriter Bob Cook, there's nothing more Zen than laughter.


That's why he, and his non-conformist sidekicks - the Unherd-of - have forged their own style of spirit-rousing music.


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-of write tunes with names like Papaya Pie, Chuck the Head, Armpit Harry, and All Things Weird & Wonderful.


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-produced six CDs and has played solo and with bands all over the country.


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-searching I do, the lighter and funnier my songs get."


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 - Bompin' Rootsy Folk 'n' Roll philosophical fun.


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