Scott Cook had to look for new ways to present his music.
Like many others, he turned to social media platforms for performances because his touring life was disrupted by the pandemic.
“We didn’t know what the virus was going to look like,” he says in an interview from Edmonton, Alberta. “Months later, we’re still in place and I’m trying to promote my music.”
Cook is a DIY troubadour who, until earlier this year, had made his home on the road since 2007.
While touring relentlessly around Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa and elsewhere, averaging 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year, he’s also managed to produce seven studio albums along the way.
Cook released his seventh album, “Tangle of Souls,” in August and continues to promote it.
The 12-track collection comes with a 240-page, cloth-bound, hardcover book, telling the story of a life-changing health crisis and drawing parallels to the crises we face as a society seemingly hellbent on self-destruction.
Against the background of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, Cook draws on the goodwill and empathy gathered over his years on the road and the hard truths from his own brush with death to shine a light toward our uncertain future.
“A lot has changed for me over the last four years,” he says. “I was hospitalized with alcoholic pancreatitis . It gave me a closer look at death and at my own darker side. I began to look at my own self-destructive tendencies and those that we have as a culture. There’s a lot of personal stuff that I talk about in the book. I didn’t allow myself to hide in this process. It was a long process to see the places where I was afraid to tell my own truth.”
Because touring is a no-go, Cook has found ways to pass the time.
He’s stuck at home with two other musicians.
“One of them is my sweetheart, and we’ve been jamming a lot,” he says. “We’ve been doing these monthly online shows. We’ve figured it out how to get everything dialed in. We’ve also been doing some outdoor shows from back alleys and front porches.”
Through all the turmoil of the past seven months, Cook does see some silver linings.
“I haven’t really stopped anywhere longer than a month until this pandemic happened,” he says. “Watching the seasons change was great. So much of my life is socializing with strangers. I’m able to spend time with my parents, who live close by. These are things I could never do while touring was in the mix.”