christie cook
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christie cook

Nacogdoches, Texas, United States | INDIE

Nacogdoches, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Christian Gospel


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"'New Day'"

Medford native makes a name for herself in Christian music
MEDFORD — From her humble beginnings as a child in Medford, Christie Cook rose above the mundane, making a name for herself in the world of contemporary Christian music.
Her album “New Day” hit shelves in December 2008, but that is not the only thing Cook is famous for.
Musician, minister, former teacher, mother and wife, she is also the co-owner with her husband, Stan, of the Fair Breeze Cottage, a bed and breakfast cabin in Nacogdoches, Texas, the city Cook now calls home.

Born Christie Hill, she grew up two miles east of Medford on her parents’ farm, the youngest of seven children. She said both her mother, Carol Fisk, and father, Tom Hill, were an inspiration to her, instilling in her a wonder for God and an appreciation for music early on. “Dad always taught me an appreciation for the things in life that some people take for granted,” Cook said. She said he would point out things like the moon, the sounds that could be heard in nature and the birds that flew overhead. “As a child, he kind of drew my mind closer to God by pointing out God’s creation.”
Cook’s mother was an artist, signing her up for piano lessons at a young age and letting her play music with the family even when she was very young.
“She gave me a pot and a spoon, and I was able to play on the pot with the spoon,” Cook said, because she was too young to play a drum set.

Cook remembers, too, how fond she was of her teachers in Medford.
“I remember them well. I have such fond memories of Medford High School,” she said. But it wasn’t just her public school teachers who left an impression. In private piano lessons, when she was only about 8 years old, she was told something she would never forget.
“I was very fond of my piano teacher, Mrs. Sanders,” Cook said. “She once said to me, ‘Christie, you have something in you that will never burn out.’”
That eternal flame was music. Phyllis Sanders had been one of the first in Cook’s life to discover her talent for music.
“Christie was particularly musical — a very sensitive youngster who stayed with it longer than most of them,” Sanders said. “She was a delight to work with.”

In fact, it was a scholarship to study music at Stephen F. Austin State University that brought Cook to Nacogdoches. She graduated with a double major in piano performance and Spanish in 1987. Then she began teaching high school Spanish. She went on to get her master’s degree from Texas A&M University and took her language lessons to the college classroom.

Cook was married with two daughters, Morgan, 16, and Chloe, 7, and she had one album under her belt, “Their Stories Do Linger,” that she released in 1997. She said it was then that the idea for her bed and breakfast began to bloom.
“I was teaching at the university,” she said. “I love to teach, but not as much as I love music. I wanted to be with my girls and I wanted to be with my music. I wanted to pursue my music ministry.”

So in 2002, Cook and her husband Stan opened Fair Breeze Cottage in Nacogdoches. The name of the cottage was synonymous with the title track of the album she had released in 2001. As the bed and breakfast opened on 46 acres of land in the oldest town in Texas, “Fair Breeze,” the song, won Best Celtic Song at the 2002 Just Plain Folks Music Awards.
Now Cook is able to work at the bed and breakfast, spend more time at home with her daughters and find time for her music as well. She said she often fits in time after the work at the cottage is done and her girls are tucked away in bed.

Even her colleagues attest to her unusual ambition and determination toward music. Gerry Putnam, a musical engineer who put the final touches on her newest CD, said Cook has always been completely in control of her career and she does more work in one day than most people do in a week. “She’s probably one of the most capable people I know,” Putnam said. He said she is not only a wonderful singer-songwriter, but also a craftsmen who applies soft music to her deep faith to make Christian teachings accessible to everyone.
“It is challenging finding time,” she said, “but I pray about God giving me that time and balance.”

Cook also finds time to reach out with her music, in the form of ministry, performing at benefit concerts, homeless shelters, and even in prisons. As for the album released last year, it probably won’t be the last. Cook is so in tune with her music that she said she is always thinking about it.
“In my heart, that music is not ever quiet.”

Cook’s CD is available at The Little Professor bookstore, on iTunes and via her Web site

Melissa Kaelin can be reached at 444-2372.

"Feature article"

Published December 12, 2008

Christie Cook's latest CD, "New Day," combines refreshingly honest lyrics with an angelically pure voice to produce a sound that is unique and anything but run-of-the-mill Christian music.

Cook's storytelling style paints vivid pictures of ordinary and some not-so-ordinary life experiences.
"I believe the reason Jesus told so many parables is because He knew it was the quickest way to the human heart," Cook said. "I hope the stories in my music draw the listener's heart back to Jesus."
A self-proclaimed "late-blooming Christian," Cook said her music is influenced by her own spiritual experience. "I've always loved God but really didn't know Him very well because I never knew Jesus," she said.

Cook's spiritual journey began in earnest after hearing author Ron Pettey of Lufkin speak on his near-death experience, as related in his book "Heaven Is Real," and how that experience changed his life.
Pettey had died momentarily in a surgical procedure, and after spending a short time in heaven, he was sent back to Earth to fulfill his purpose. "It was one of those true stories that touched my heart and changed it forever," Cook said.
After hearing Pettey's story, Cook said, "I opened the Book of John, and this whole journey with the Lord began." As part of that journey, Cook felt a desire to "minister to people who don't know Him." Her gift of music is her personal way of fulfilling that ministry.

Cook's other musical accomplishments include CDs "Their Stories Do Linger" (1997) and "Fair Breeze" (2000), whose title track earned Best Celtic Song honors at the Just Plain Folks 2002 Music Awards.

The youngest of seven children, Cook was born and reared in Medford, Minn. After graduating from SFA in 1987 with a bachelor of music degree in piano performance and a second major in Spanish, she studied in France on a Rotary scholarship and traveled throughout Europe.

In 1989 she married Stan Cook, a forester, and after the birth of daughter Morgan, now 16, she earned a master's degree in Spanish from Texas A&M University. Cook taught part-time at SFA until the birth of daughter, Chloe, now 7.

Cook's appreciation of her family is evident: "I love my girls and they come first." And Cook is passing her passion for music to her girls: "Morgan is an accomplished violinist, and Chloe is following in the footsteps of her sister, playing both violin and piano."

As if music and family were not enough, the Cooks own a bed-and-breakfast, Fair Breeze Cottage in Nacogdoches, which Christie manages, including upkeep of the cottage, land and gardens.
When asked the most challenging part of producing her CD, Cook said, "Time. I have a family and a business.

"Ordinarily you do a CD six hours a day for two to three weeks, and then it's done. I had to squeeze it into one or two nights a week bringing in one or two musicians at a time."

Cook does not see the three years it took to produce the CD as a disadvantage. "I had to surrender that to the Lord. I am confident that this time is exactly when He wanted it released," she said.
Cook is quick to sing the praises of many who had a part in producing the CD, both musicians and financial backers.

"It was such an honor and pleasure working with local musicians Jimmy Taylor, Jennifer Dalmas, Evgeni Raychev, Steve Devries, Jason Pate and Jason Paschall," Cook said.
Hank and Suzy Crouse provided partial funding. "He saw it as a way to participate in getting the Lord's Word out there," Cook said. "They believe in the music and are so supportive."

And Cook's own passion and dedication are evident: "My desire in my lifetime is to bring people closer to Jesus with my music, and I hope He opens doors for me to be able to do that."
"New Day" CDs are available locally at The Good Book, Glass Castles, Brick Street Antiques, Traditions, Heart of Texas, Java Jacks, and through digital downloads.
For information on Cook's music, go to
Christie Cook's latest CD "New Day."
(c) 2008 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Sentinel

- Nacogdoches Sentinel


"New Day", "Fair Breeze", "Their Stories Do Linger"
Oasis Sampler



What attracts people most to Christie Cook’s music is not only her appealing pure voice, but also the sincerity and honesty that permeates every song she writes. While looking at the world from a perspective of Christian faith, she skillfully paints a picture and tells an amazing story. Geared towards a listening audience, her music is captivating, her lyrics poignant and compelling, yet candid.

In 1997, she completed her first CD, Their Stories do Linger. Her second CD, Fair Breeze, was recorded in New England and the title track earned Best Celtic Song honors at the Just Plain Folks 2002 Music Awards.

Christie’s faith takes center stage in her latest CD, New Day, released in 2008. Each song takes the listener through life’s daily struggles and triumphs, and it’s obvious to the listener that God is her closest friend and confidante, her refuge and strength. Touching a wide range of life’s experiences, her Christian music is refreshing because she addresses the human spirit not in the narrow sense of clichés and stick figures, but as an artist whose eye captures the true color of life.