Ryan Cook has been playing music and touring full time since 2007, and throughout those 10 years, he’s played a lot in Queens County.
He’s scheduled to play at Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing Company at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 as part of a Nova Scotia tour to release his fourth studio album, Having a Great Time.
Cook is starting in Yarmouth and continuing along the South Shore, with stops in Shelburne, Liverpool and Hubbards.
“I like playing these small venues,” said Cook. “That’s where I started, and I still like being there.”
The show at Hell Bay will include songs from the new album in addition to some songs from previous albums.
“And then some other surprises and gems for the night.”
Some of the songs on Cook’s latest album were written as recently as August. The oldest song was written in 2012, he said. There are also songs from 2014 and 2016.
“2015 did not appear to be a productive year. I did not write any that year,” he said.
The record has nine new songs, a cover song of Snow Bird and two bonus tracks. Those two bonus tracks are only available on the CD or Cook’s website with the downloadable version of the record.
About five years ago, Cook said he decided his fulltime job as a musician in Atlantic Canada was a seasonal one. January, February and March weren’t lucrative enough with respect to performing to perform, and being one’s own manager day after day, year after year, becomes exhausting.
“I decided that I would take a little bit of a mental-health break in January, February, March and I would not perform whatsoever, and that I would go somewhere warm because I had already lived through 30 Canadian winters at that point,” Cook said.
He has a camper van like the one on the cover of the album. He and his Havanese dog started to travel to southern Florida during those winter months. In the winter, Cook focuses on the administrative side of his job, as well as writing.
“I found myself, much like the guy on the cover of this record, in search of having a great time and then often wondering - after three or four years of it – if I really was having a great time,” he said.
As the year comes to an end, Cook’s Nova Scotia tour will also end. He’s scheduled to do his final show in Yarmouth Dec. 22. In April 2018, Cook will be at it again, beginning in Ontario, followed by Newfoundland, and then he hopes to tour western Canada.
“Then I’ll be very busy next year doing my Hank Williams tribute show as well as continuing to tour the record in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and maybe some parts of Quebec,” Cook said. “Then this winter, I’ll probably be on another one of these wild journeys somewhere.”
To learn more about Ryan Cook and see his tour dates, go to https://www.ryancook.ca/bio/.