Phil Cook

Phil Cook

Phil Cook

People Are My Drug

Psychic Hotline

There’s more than a hint of “Pops” Staples presence on People Are My Drug, the new album by North Carolinian Phil Cook. Cook, formerly of Megafaun and currently in Hiss Golden Messenger has given us a balm for our troubled souls, much as the Staple Singers did on records such as Freedom Highway or their 1963 rootsy classic, This Land. And like Pops, Cook takes us to church on moments such his version of Randy Newman’s “He Gives Us All His Love”.

The record starts with a weary Cook on “Steampowered Blues”, which is a funky, The Band-sounding call to arms. Cook is joined throughout the record by Amelia Meath (one half of Sylvan Esso), who co-wrote the smoldering “Miles Away” and lends her gorgeous harmonies to most cuts. People Are My Drug is a topical piece of work, one that looks around at the tumult and tension surrounding us and strives to find the common ground that unites us all, such as on “Another Mother’s Son”, co-written by North Carolina hip hop artist Kane Smego, a cry for calm as yet another body lays in the street.

Cook takes a song from MC Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) with “Tupelo Child”, a quiet confirmation that rides on James Anthony Wallace’s subtle organ touches (ala the Staples) and Cook’s washes of understated guitar. The record ends with a tribute to the New Orleans genius pianist, James Booker with “Life”, that great Allen Toussaint number that concludes this remarkable album with ecstatic glory and joy. A single record might not solve all our problems right now, but Phil Cook’s People Are My Drug will go a long way to helping us strip away our cynicism and hatred and look around at the wonder we all have, and cherish it. Easily one of the best of 2018, and boy do we need it now.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Zombie

    One of the most notorious horror films is back for its 40th anniversary.

  • Tyrel

    Tyrel is the new feature by controversial Chilean director, Sebastián Silva, who here invites you to spend a weekend with the film’s African-American protagonist while he suffers through an alcohol-fueled and epically awkward birthday celebration.

  • Sick Note
    Sick Note

    If you have a problem distinguishing between highly inappropriate and hilarious, then Ian Koss thinks this show is for you.

  • Christmas Is…
    Christmas Is…

    Todd Allen Long sings an eclectic collection of Holiday favorites.

  • Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia
    Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia

    Vincent Castiglia is an painter, tattoo artist, metal guitarist and the man who captures amazing images in blood. Bloodlines takes you into his works and world.

  • 100 Things to Do in Orlando Before You Die (2nd Edition)
    100 Things to Do in Orlando Before You Die (2nd Edition)

    A tourist guide to some of the fun things only locals know about in the City Beautiful and surrounding countryside.

  • Say Sue Me
    Say Sue Me

    Christmas, It’s No Biggie (Damnably Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Lucius

    Christmas Time is Here. Review by Phil Bailey.

  • Tarik Aktaş
    Tarik Aktaş

    Dead Horse Nebula director, Tarik Aktaş, speaks with Generoso Fierro about his AFI Fest 2018-selected debut feature.

  • Beth Hart
    Beth Hart

    Beth Hart – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Mascot Label Group/Provogue). Review by Michelle Wilson.

From the Archives