First official communique from Pokhara, Nepal.
NAMASTE FROM POKHARA
First official communique from Pokhara, Nepal.
NAMASTE FROM POKHARA
Thank you for all your support in 2014. I performed 84 shows this year from as far away as Port Richey, Florida, to Cookstown, Ontario, and even one in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada with many stops in between!
I fly across the globe this week and am travelling with a small guitar for three- five months hoping to introduce the sounds of Western swing to the Eastern World. I will share photos and videos of these adventures but will try to keep them music related. If you feel it is entirely irrelevant or annoying -let me know in the comment section and I will adjust accordingly. My Twitter account will be the most active of my sites. www.twitter.com/iryancook
In 2015 I will be focusing primarily on my new group Ryan Cook & the Valley Singers. The show features my original music as well as vocal arrangements of greats like Hank Williams, Merle Travis, The Beach Boys, and many jazz/folk standards. Those who’ve seen the show have been enthusiastic and I hope you will enjoy it too. If anyone is interested in booking this show in Ontario or the Maritimes simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
That’s a wrap for now. I’ve got some new videos to release which I hope you will enjoy. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Today is a great day to reflect.
If you are were born in the last 40 years (like me) you might have grown up not understanding the totality and importance of the first two World Wars. Certainly, understanding our history will tell us the most about where we are heading.
When I was I growing up in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia I remember each Remembrance Day as it were with light discussion in the classrooms on the importance of remembering the men and women who fought for our freedom, followed by a ritualistic ceremony with a small handful War survivors who were about 70- 80 years my elder. If any particular part of the war were described it was in the safest and most mild version acceptable to pass down to elementary and middle school children. The whole thing was hard to grasp in part because of the lack of closeness to the subject. When you are twelve years old day-dreaming about girls, Wrestling, The Simpsons, or loading your favourite video game it’s hard to fathom that only 40-50 years prior millions of our ancestors were slaughtered in the most devastating depths of depravity the modern world has ever known. Although some of the survivors were still alive (in my childhood) and a few good people like Joe Bishara of Yarmouth, NS worked to bring cultural significance to the subject, there was a complete disconnect, for me.
Attending a Remembrance Day ceremony felt like going to church or watching my sisters dance recital. There was no part of it that could hold the attention of my over-sugared, A.D.D, corn starchy developing brain stem. I can’t pinpoint exactly what the disconnect was, if it wasn’t selfishness, perhaps it was a hybrid of being a privileged spoiled brat in cozy middle North America.
About a year ago this all changed for me when I discovered a podcast by Dan Carlin (who’s ancestors settled in Nova Scotia, Canada). The podcast is called Hardcore History (https://www.facebook.com/HardcoreHistory) where Dan produces 2-3 hour long episodes walking the listener through, among other things, World War 1 & 2. He does so in a way that finally connected with me, and it was the first time I began to realize what I had never considered. The first two World Wars were not wars, they were missions to and from Hell. The battles (if you call them battles, not massacres) pushed humanity to endure what it will likely never have to endure again.
I’m still shocked on this Remembrance Day / Veterans Day that I lived 30 years without every understanding the totality and importance of these wars and how much having a grasp on them helps to explain the world I am currently living in.
If you are shut in today, can’t leave the house or have a long commute, I would highly recommend to check out one of Dan’s Hardcore History podcasts which walk you through these wars in Tom Clancy fashion with every last detail in tact.
If you are anything like me you might learn a lot more than you will couched in front of CTV or the CBC watching the celebrations and commemorations happening across the country. This is just my opinion and I am in no way affiliated with Dan Carlin, nor do I have any discordance with memorial services happening in Canada today (which are important and culturally significant).
The first episode of his series Blueprint for Armageddon is available for FREE to stream via iTunes or download directly from his site here:
There are four or five episodes in this series and part 1 is a great beginning with how World War 1 started, on an ordinary day just outside a small cafe in Sarajevo.
Thank you to all the veterans including my great uncle Don Cook who never returned from WW2.
A boatload of shows in the Ottawa region this week but first check out this painting. I was approached to help raise money for The Kidney Foundation of Canada La Fondation canadienne du rein I did the best I could with the acrylic paints and canvas provided but concluded that I am NO painter. However, upon looking at some of the other paintings I guess I’m not the only one who’s hanging onto their dayjob. Help support this cause if you can! Other 2014 contributors include Bret Hart, Don Cherry,Donovan Bailey, Leonard Cohen, JimCarrey, and Bif Naked. Honoured to be in company with these folks!
I’ll be playing at two great venues this coming weekend, one is a beautiful United Church in Fenelon Falls, Ontario, the other is Coffee Culture in Smith Falls, Ontario.
Information for these shows is listed on the right hand side of this page under SHOWS!
In response to the tragedies happening in Ottawa today (read about them here) we are postponing our show at Avant-Garde Bar in downtown Ottawa tomorrow night (Thurs Oct.22). We are working with the fine folks there to reschedule the show in a couple weeks when things are more stable. Our shows in Griffith and Renfrew this weekend are STILL A GO. We will be playing at the Pine Valley Restaurant FRIDAY and Finnigans’ Roadhouse SATURDAY.
Stay strong Ottawa, we will meet again!
- Ry & Dylan
A note about the Merle Travis Tribute:
Firstly, there are a number of performances happening in Ontario this Fall which are not listed on the Merle Travis poster. These performances simply don’t feature the Merle component and are more like a regular show, they include:
October 10- Solo Performance @Calamity Jane’s, Addison, ON
October 11- John Allaire Show @Quinn’s Ale House Ottawa, ON
Nov 1- Ryan Cook @Fenelon Falls United Church, Fenelon Falls, ON
Nov 8- Ryan Cook & Kelly Sloan “Country Legends” @Mason Theatre Perth, ON
The Merle Travis Tribute show will be a two-set performance. The first set will be original music and the second set will be exclusively Merle Travis songs and instrumentals, accompanied by guitarist Dylan Watts.
Will hopefully bring this show to Atlantic Canada in mid 2015.
This Wednesday night I will be co-hosting the CountryTown All-Vinyl record party at Gus’ Pub in Halifax, NS. If you’ve never been before, here’s what your night will look like: Basically you and your friends convene at Gus pub around 9pm for drinks, story swapping and perhaps a game of Bridge all to the soundtrack of spectacular Country Music records from the 50′s 60′s & 70′s. By the end of the night you will be dancing, flirting, and frolicking at one of Halifax’s most sterile LP listening rooms. It’s a home run.
Joining host Aaron Fraser, myself and Brian Baker will bring a couple guitars and belt out a raw set of Merle Travis tunes. It will be a spectacular night of professionalism. I should note that I am donating my entire record collection to a friend in New Brunswick 5 days later so Wednesday will be my last time spinning the fabulous country records I have collected over the years, including Little Jimmy Dickens, Bob Wills, John Hartford, Slim Whitman, and many others.
If that doesn’t convince you then allow me to guilt you into attending. This will be my last week in Nova Scotia until June 2015. In the time between I will be travelling around Southeast Asia risking my neck on a giant mountain in Nepal among other things so, if your in my rolodex, you should come whisper a slobberly farewell out of guilt.
REJOICE REJOICE REJOICE