Tony Cooke is a singer/songwriter from Hull, East Yorkshire, England. He plays guitar, mandolin, ukulele, bass, harmonica, keyboards, flageolet, recorder and percussion, together with any related instruments. Tony is also multi-lingual - he speaks fluent French, German and Swedish, together with some Spanish, Italian and Dutch. He uses his life experiences to write his songs, which have included Gospel, Children's Songs and Contemporary Adult. Much of Tony's music comes into the "Easy Listening" genre, including elements of jazz, rock, folk, country, reggae, hip hop, classical - you name it. "I just like music", says Tony, "and my own music collection includes songs from the 12th Century, Renaissance Music, Madrigals, Classical, Opera, as well as music from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. I can listen to 1930s' Big Band Music as well as hip hop songs from the 21st Century. So my music contains a bit of everything."
Tony has played in rock, folk, country and pop groups, either as a backing musician/vocalist or front man. He has sung with big bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles and on his own, providing his own accompaniment. He has also taken part in music festivals and recitals, accompanied by a classical pianist.
Tony's recent songs include:
Just a simple Melody: A light, acoustic guitar song with keyboards and flageolet. Tony says: "I wrote this song on a summer's evening. It's actually a song about being a songwriter, trying to find the right words and saying things that are true and which you hope your audience will relate to. There are no hidden meanings and no clever rhymes - it's just a simple melody." Radio stations in America have commented favourably on this song; "It's beautiful", "You have a great sound", "the song just pops", are three of the comments received.
On the Road again: A country style fun song, with mandolin, piano, guitar and percussion. Tony says: "I joined a bluegrass group and they encouraged me to take up the mandolin - which Alan kindly lent me. One morning, I was going to buy the papers and, walking along, this song started to come to me. So, I got home, picked up the mandolin and started strumming the chords. I only knew about half a dozen chords at that time, but I worked it out, in the key of F. It's one of those songs you can sing or hum when you're out walking. I often sing it in schools where I work and in clubs. Children and adults often join in with the whistling etc."
This Time Tomorrow: This is a country style ballad about someone who has left home in order to make it in the "big bad world" and found that things aren't always what they seem. Like any songwriter, Tony uses some of his own experiences and also adds things he has learned from others. The song is about the homeward journey and the prospect of a "new tomorrow".
Tony is accompanied on the recordings by Hull Jazz Pianist and Teacher, Paul Rogers. "Paul is great", explains Tony, "I can give him a song, either in CD or music form (or both) and tell him what kind of styles I am aiming for. He always comes up with something tasteful and often with pleasant surprises. He is a very experienced and talented musician and a good laugh. He has travelled the world and played for people like Simon Townshend (Pete's brother), supporting acts like Duran Duran"
The recording engineer is Andy Newlove. Says Tony, "I first met Andy when his mother was carrying him. I was a schoolboy and Andy's Mum and Dad lived a couple of doors from us. One day, Val was drinking tea with my mother and she was pregnant. I often tel Andy, 'when I first met you, you were a lump!' Of course, he is now a very talented recording enigineer. He is also a musician, a teacher and a guitar technician for Bill Nelson (Be Bop Deluxe) among others."
Tony hopes you will enjoy listening to his songs and, if you do, tell others.