- Artist: H.R. Cook
- Format: CD
- Release Date:6/10/2008
Neongrass is the first full length CD release by H.R. Cook. One of the bright new voices in bluegrass and acoustic music, H.R. wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 14 songs featured on the CD. The concept of the CD was to do a blend of songs that would appeal to the traditional and contemporary bluegrass fan as well as those who enjoy acoustic country. You'll hear great love story songs, love songs, tearjerkers and hard driving bluegrass. H.R. added new lyrics and arrangements to two old standards, "East Virginia Blues" and "Handsome Molly" that give the songs a whole new life. A riveting acoustic cover on "Ghostriders in the Sky" is sure to tickle the ears of listeners. A unique written gem on the CD is the song "Sid"; it tells the story of the murder of Sid Hatfield, the sheriff who stood by the coal miners in the coal wars in southern West Virginia. Veteran Nashville songwriter, Tim Nicholas ("Live Like You Were Dying", "Heads Carolina Tails California"), helped H.R. pen the song "Virginia's In the South", which is one of the best songs on the project. What people are saying about Neongrass: 'H.R. Cook has put together an electric and exciting new CD of original and some very interesting cover songs. All done acoustically with an updated and super picker flare. A hand picked and tasteful array of bluegrass, folk, and original material that is sure to please old fans while paving the way for many new ones.' - Hazel Dickens, Bluegrass Hall of Fame artist and writer 'Great material as usual from H.R.' - Don Rigsby, Kentucky Center of Traditional Music H.R. Cook Biography H.R. was raised in southwest Virginia, which is an area rich in music heritage. He grew up listening to local country, bluegrass and gospel acts, which heavily influenced the music he performs and writes. Although he was brought up in a family with two music Hall of Famers, (Hazel Dickens and Little Jimmy Dickens), H.R. did not start playing music and writing until he was in college. One afternoon, he was invited to a friend's home where a music jam was taking place. The friend's father was Mel Clark Sr., a cousin to Roy Clark. Mel Sr. asked H.R. if he wanted to join in, but H.R declined since he never had the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument; Mel Sr. then asked him to stop by the next day. To H.R.'s surprise, when he arrived Mr. Clark handed him an acoustic guitar and taught him to play his first chords. This was the beginning of a passion that has lasted to this day. H.R. has written and recorded several country singles in the early '80s and a record deal in England, which received limited success. At this point he began to focus on the song writing and publishing end of the business. He soon added other writers and his publishing company has steadily grown throughout the years. Because of his unique song crafting abilities, H.R. was nicknamed "The Weaver of Words" by several studio musicians. He liked the sound of the new nickname and it became the name of his publishing company. Recently, H.R. co-wrote the song "Zero to Love" on the Grammy nominated 2004 IBMA Bluegrass Album of the Year, It's Just the Night, by The Del McCoury Band. He also wrote one of the featured songs on the Josh Williams' album Lonesome Highway. It was a tune titled "Ol' Brown Suitcase" and was played heavily on bluegrass radio. The 2008 release of Neongrass is the first time in over twenty years that H.R. Cook is featured as an artist. When asked about this H.R. replied, "For thirty-one years I was an underground coal miner and music publisher, but my first love was singing and I knew I'd get back to that eventually when I had time. I just didn't know it would be this long."
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