It’s not money that fuels singer/songwriter Scott Cook to log thousands of kilometres around the world each year, it is the music and people he meets.
“You don’t make a lot of money at it and all kinds of trouble comes your way. There are plenty of occasions to ask yourself why you’re doing these gigs at all. Usually what keeps me going is just the people who write to me out of the blue,” Cook said. “I feel like that is a real honour and it is also kind of an encouragement for me to keep doing it.”
On Wednesday (Aug. 27) Cook will be performing alongside the Second Chances at West Coast Sessions in Nanaimo. West Coast Sessions is a house concert series that is held on Victoria Road and hosted by Paul and Catherine Bezooyen.
“All the money goes to the artist so it actually supports the artist better than a club gig would,” Cook explained about the house concert series. “Also, the people get to make a real connection with the artist and they get to meet them … I just feel like it is just a more real way of experiencing music and it is the real way that music used to be experienced.”
Although Cook has performed in big venues and festivals, he said he loves the intimate setting that a house concert provides.
“One of my favourite places to play is somebody’s living room,” Cook said. “That’s actually what has kept me going. I think if the house concerts hadn’t come along I probably would have quit just because I was playing so many bars and feeling like I wasn’t making a connection with anybody.”
Seven years ago Cook quit his job as a kindergarten teacher in Taiwan and began making his living on the road as a full-time musician.
“It was good. It was a good life. It was fun but I felt like if I were to quit that somebody else would come along and do my job just as good as me or better,” Cook said. “I just didn’t feel like I was uniquely called to that line of work or anything and I have felt like music has become a calling for me. I felt like I at least have to give this a shot.”
The Alberta native has released four albums, Long Way to Wander, This One’s on the House, Moonlit Rambles and One More Time Around.
“The songs are just stories,” Cook explained about his music. “Some from my own life and some from other places.”
Since 2007, Cook has logged tens of thousands of kilometres performing to audiences around the world.
In Canada, Cook has performed in major cities such as Vancouver and Halifax as well as smaller communities including Brentwood Bay, B.C., Turner Valley, Alta., Falcon Lake, Man., Kemptville, Ont., Wakefield, Que., Portuguese Cove, N.S., and Maple Creek, Sask.
“It’s hard to say what it is like,” Cook said about touring so frequently. “I’ve been making a full-time living at it for seven years. Now it feels like more normal to me. If I am around a town for a month or two I start to feel like I am spinning my wheels. Once I get back on the road that feels kind of like home sweet home.”
Cook’s music has also taken him to places such as Czech Republic, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Taiwan.
The Alberta native explained that while it can be easy to stay motivated on the road it isn’t always an easy way to make a living.
“In a small way it is pretty easy to stay motivated because you have a mission everyday,” he said. “Each day you have something that you have to do. You have to get somewhere that you have to play. So that kind of drives itself a long.”
Scott Cook performs at the West Coast Sessions, 711 Victoria Rd., on Wednesday (Aug. 27) at 6:30 p.m. Admissions is $15 by donation.
For more information please call 250-754-9896 or visit www.thehermitsmusic.com