Jordan Cook has accomplished a great deal with only three digital singles to his credit – “Lonely Sunday,” “In the Dark” and “Are You Satisfied?”
Cook, who hails from the Canadian prairie hamlet of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, remembers where and when his Reignwolf concept occurred.
“It was in Alberta, when I was playing with the Soundgarden guys,” says the musician, who brings his act to the Bay Area this week. “Basically, we ran out of songs, so Matt [Chamberlain] and Ben [Shepherd] sat on the side of the stage and said, ‘So now what are you going to do?’ And I had no idea.”
He grabbed his guitar, moved to the drum kit, and simultaneously started playing both. He says, “It was absolute magic – a song happened on the spot. So I went home and declared that I was taking this further.”
Now, record company offers are pouring in for Reignwolf rights. But Cook plans to self-release it. “Years ago, it was hard to get a gig if you didn’t have a big label,” he says. “But we’ve done this all ourselves up to this point. You do things your own way and it can work out great.”
Cook, who usually plays fuzzed-out R&B guitar and kick drums onstage, recently added a bassist and percussionist for certain shows. He already has opened several dates for Black Sabbath, toured Canada (backed by Soundgarden’s current rhythm section Matt Chamberlain and Ben Shepherd) and relocated to Seattle at Shepherd’s request, where he launched his lupine persona.
A few months ago, while working on his upcoming Reignwolf debut disc, Cook’s jaw dropped when his idol Stevie Wonder stopped by his Memphis studio to introduce himself, then borrow a microphone.
“I was just blown away because he was just as cool a guy as he was a musician,” says Cook. “He was standing beside David Porter, and he was more concerned about me knowing who David Porter is, that he’d produced and written for all the greats, from Aretha Franklin to Otis Redding. The way I was being a fan to Stevie, he was being a fan to Porter – it was amazing.”
Cook’s own fan base is growing exponentially, thanks to his Wolverine-whiskered look, gravelly Stax-classic singing voice and a typhoon-velocity stage presence that electrifies every song.
As his origin story goes, he strummed his father’s six-string at age 2, formed a band at 6, and by 15 was playing the Montreux Jazz Fest alongside Edgar Winter, B.B. King and Van Morrison.
After his major-imprint solo debut “Seven Deadly Sins” bombed, he hired AC/DC’s business manager to extricate him from his contract, he says, “Because every week I was constantly re-introducing myself to some new person at that label.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Dec. 26
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com