Phil Cook

MIDDLE WEST MANAGEMENT

Phil Cook has become a fixture in the Triangle music scene since moving to North Carolina from Wisconsin more than a decade ago. His love for collaboration means he has lent his writing, production, and multi-instrumental skills to countless projects.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast with a look at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC-Music.

This time Eric Hodge sits down with Durham, NC based musician Phil Cook to discuss "Sitting On A Fence" from Cook's album Southland Mission.

An image of producer Charlie Shelton
Andrew Tie / WUNC

With a new year just around the corner, “The State of Things” takes a moment to reflect on the highlights of 2015 with the program’s producers. Some of producer Charlie Shelton’s favorite segments include conversations with folklorist Bill Ferris and musician Rhiannon Giddens.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

 

Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."