Ian Cooke / Raven & the Writing Desk / Go Star / Bonnie & the Beard
Singer, songwriter, cellist, pianist -
Ian Cooke has appeared in SPIN magazine, Finished #1 in the Denver Post Music Poll in 2009, and has been voted Best Avant-Pop for 3 years by Westword Magazine. He also plays cello on Crooked Fingers’ album Forfeit/Fortune and his two songs appeared alongside Billy Bragg, Owen Pallett, and M Ward on ‘Versions of Joanna’ – a Joanna Newsom covers-album.
He has toured in the US and Australia playing with: The Dresden Dolls, Crooked Fingers, Built to Spill, The Decemberists, The Flaming Lips (Monolith Festival), Blonde Redhead, Devotchka, Rasputina, Wovenhand, Pedro the Lion and many more.
Cooke’s 2009 album, ‘The Fall I Fell,’ has sold out of two pressings and has been re-pressed with a DVD with solo live versions of songs, videos, a 5.1 surround mix of the album, etc.
His new album ‘Fortitude’ was released 11/11/11.
Here’s what others have said:
“Cooke, his cello and his looping effects pedal are now fixtures — icons, even — in Denver’s thriving independent music community. And after years of climbing the ranks, playing clubs, galleries, living rooms and museums, the singer-songwriter- cellist-pianist was voted the top musician in the ninth annual Denver Post Underground Music Poll.” Ric Baca
Denver Post Poll Winner:
“It’s been nearly three years since Ian Cooke releasedThe Fall I Fell and proceeded to blow everyone’s minds with his inimitably expressive vocal style, dexterous cello playing and remarkably affecting songs…” Dave Herrera
Back in the coffee-stained pages of times past, amidst an era of colorless life, miniature musicians lived and breathed inside a box. it was a music box - a box full of mystery provoking passion and radiant creativity - and the sounds!! -- oh the sounds ... such original sounds sprang from the hinges of the box. sweet melon melodies and rattling anthems of frenzy and hope splashed kaleidoscopic color all over the straight-laced square-pants running down their big wide empty avenues, lined with un-curiously matched box houses. the sound travelled wide and colored fast, splattering the neatly tucked-in features and the neatly painted houses filled with those perfectly pruned people, doing their perfect flawless no-things. for a brief moment, the world was illuminated - and it scared those drab people. it scared them so much, that they gathered in the perfect little townsquare with their perfect little pitchforks and they found that pristine box, the one that sprayed those “awful colors” of emotion of theatricality, the one that housed those miniature musicians, with their miniature feelings and their miniature songs,2and they buried that box, so it could no longer spray all those dirty messy colors all over their perfectly dreary world. they buried it deep in the ground - so deep that the miniature musicians could no longer see the beautiful colors of their beautiful songs. so deep that the miniature musicians were silenced by the darkness and their colors gave way to drab flawless nothing-ness. there was a quiet sadness in the world for a time. it was an unfortunate occurrence.
...and then a shovel! in a garden!! almost 80 years of combined experience had elapsed!!! immediately, shots of color smoked out the hinges of the box until it exploded ... all over the young shovel-toting unexpector. “finally, there is color here!” she exclaimed, in a sunny garden by a denver carriage house. she picked up the miniature musicians, and she picked up the miniature music box, and she asked them in for tea and some toast...
they are now known as The Raven and the Writing Desk
Joshua Trinidad's Go Star gives birth to a burning new concept: cutting edge improvisation, deploying subtle electronics with the 21st century compositional sensibility of Thom Yorke and Bjork. Go Star performs the music unpredictability but delivers a one-two punch of controlled pop understanding.
“Bonnie and the Beard has a wayward traveler-feel about its sound — if Vaudville Americana were a genre, the local trio would be at the top of it."
(Bree Davis, Westword Backbeat)
Bonnie and the Beard is a vivacious group--often quite salacious, lost deeply in dream and delirium. Some say they live in a tent and practice juggling flaming arrows when they are not painting their faces and making moonshine. A trio, spinning tales of outlaws, redemption and longing through their own brand of boot-stomping southern-blues/gypsy-rock. Together roughly two years, they’ve shared the stage with the likes of DeVotchka, Nicole Atkins, Oakhurst; played at Tour de Fat, Sunnyside Music Festival, two stints at the Underground Music Festival, embarked on several tours and shared the stage with many rising acts from across the nation.
"They deliver their songs with such a charming playful seriousness it’s hard not to get sucked into the fun."
(Peter Washington, Concerted Effort)
"They began playing together after spending a hazy summer writing as the old, dusty cowboys they admired. Wandering through canyons and sharing fireside meals with their wolf dog, their stories of reckless rebels began to pour into rousing and passionate songs. They're almost a wheelin’ dealin’ circus band. Their raw energy and husky voices conjure up images of open desert road, nights under the stars and rusty Cadillacs.
Bonnie and the Beard possess a sound that is both sweet and sultry yet still raw and rawkus. Combining a bit of delta blues with indie-rock sensibilities, Bonnie and Beard sing about the struggle of human existence with the pipes to knock the dust off the highest rafters of any smoky bar."
(Illegal Pete's / Suburban Home Records)