Andy Cook and The Wanderloons
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Andy Cook and The Wanderloons

Oberlin, Ohio, United States | SELF

Oberlin, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Pop Folk

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While artists can get pretty annoying with their “unique” approaches to descriptive promotional materials (bands, it is so not funny anymore to put “Two-Step” or “Popular Melodramatic Song” as your descriptor on MySpace), it’s hard to hate on Andy Cook’s bio, which laid out as a clever poem. Cook and his band the Wander Loons make incredibly upbeat Pop music, the kind so joyful it could be substituted for your anti-depressants and probably work better. And the cheery tunes are also superbly written and arranged, with compelling instrumentation and the kind of hooks Pop songwriters would give their left and right arms to be able to come up with so seemingly effortlessly. - City Beat


There is a long stretch of land separating us from canyons and prairie dogs.

The folksy anthems of new local band Andy Cook and the Wander Loons deliver their own blend of back porch twang.

The group played their very first show at Jamestown's Labyrinth Press Company cafe Thursday Nov. 6.

Andy Cook (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, kazoo) collected a troupe of ruffians for this project - Eric "Smokey" Cronstein (guitar), Ronnie "Hawk" Brannan (bass), Matt "America' Scheuermann (guitar, vocals) and Adam "Buzz" Korbesmeyer (percussion).

"We play songs written by Andy and America," said Korbesmeyer, who graduated from SUNY Fredonia's sound recording department last year. "Andy booked a few shows and instead of playing the shows acoustic and solo he decided to ask a few friends to join him."

While cracking jokes in flannel, the band jammed like pioneers fresh off the covered wagon.

"Everyone in the band has other bands that are their primary bands, mine being Ghost of a Stranger from Fredonia," Korbesmeyer said. "So this is a 'for fun' band. We always have a good time going on the road and playing shows."

Korbesmeyer interns at Ante Up Audio, a Cleveland, OH-based record label. The group members all met there recently while working and recording.

Cook and Scheuermann released a split (album) in 2008. The EP, under the name Andy Cook and the American War titled Under Leaves, Over Bridges, includes offbeat songs with real panache. Folksy rhythms are at times reminiscent of The Shins and Sufjan Stevens. The clever, quirky lyrics are unique and just downright fun.

"We did this because we are friends, because we love music and mostly because nothing else makes sense to us," said Cook in his Myspace blog. "This is what we do. We recorded these songs in several places that are very personal to us. Places we go to dream and think and be alone."

A standout song is "Lily White World," on which Cook croons, "Well I was born in the lily white world/scraped my knees and I didn't get hurt/and I have the chance to change."

In the song, Cook goes on to describe seeing his grandfather's face reflected in a lake and wondering if he will ever experience giving back to the world in a similar way. The song ends with the group going off in sweet, heartfelt harmonizing.

After the Jamestown gig, the Wander Loons traveled to Oswego to play alongside Madeline, a friend and musician from Athens, GA. This past weekend, they played shows in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Wherever they venture, listeners are sent into a nostalgic frenzy with their upbeat melodies.

"Listening to the Wander Loons was a magical experience," said Molly Meyer, a senior social work major at Fredonia. "It took me back to the good ol' days of me wearing my rainbow unitard and riding my pink Huffy around town." - Drunk Is The New Blog


Discography

Through Leaves, Over Bridges
2008 CD
Andy Cook/American War Split

Sing, Dionysus!
2010 LP, CD

Photos

Bio

Mother Loon is a brave old soul,
She cradles her son in a wise wooden bowl.
She trained him to sing and gifted him candy,
She last-named him Cook
And first-named him Andy.

She sang to her children like water to seed
Lyrics of clouds reflecting the sea
She brewed them the finest of sweet melody
And taught them of verse and wise poetry.

And when they got old enough to sing songs
She gave them all instruments
To play right along.

They practiced all day
To make sure it was right
They even rehearsed
In their dreams at night.

Their songs they were good
And their talent it showed
It was time for these Loons
To Wander the road.

And now Andy sings
With his Wandering Loons
They play for the sun and the stars and the moon.
And most who have heard
Will surely agree
These birds are the bestest you ever did see!