Phil Cook Premieres “Miles Away” with Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath from PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG, out June 1

Troubadour Phil Cook continues to impress critics and fans with “Miles Away” from his upcoming solo release, PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG, out June 1 on Psychic Hotline/Thirty Tigers. Today, Stereogum premiered “Miles Away,” a compelling song co-written by and performed with Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath. About the collaboration, Cook shares, “I went to her house one fall morning and we shared a pot of tea in her kitchen and talked about adulting in the modern world.  At one point, I actually said the phrase “I feel like I’m Miles Away” and she lit up and opened her notebook and wrote it down.  I had some chords ready to accompany and the first verse of the song was finished within five minutes.  It was a great experience for me.  Not only did I leave with a finished song, I left with a renewed vigor for exploring the gifts of my community of friends.” Listen to “Miles Away” here. 

PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG  follows Cook’s first solo album, 2015’s aclaimedSouthland MissionPre-order PEOPLE ARE MY DRUG here.

Cook heads out on tour on June 7, performing at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. He joins Daniel Norgren on the road for a few dates in July and August. Cook is also confirmed for the 2018 Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley Oregon August 3 -5, alongside Shovels & Rope, Shakey Graves, Built To Spill and other acclaimed artists. A full list of dates is below and at

With community as a driving force behind his musical mission, Cook has brought along various folks on this adventure. He enlisted brother Brad Cook as producer, along with his band The Guitarheels (comprised of drummer JT Bates, bassist Michael Libramento and pianist James Wallace). Cook and company recorded and mixed PAMD in both his home state of Wisconsin and his newly adopted home of North Carolina, finishing the record in ten days.  The result is a spiritual tour de force, delivered from the gut with open arms. The composition of the record plays as a love letter to Phil’s greatest inspiration of all:  People. 

Cook crafted every track with reverence for each players’ artistic brilliance.  He imagined vocalist Tamisha Waden (Foreign Exchange) soaring above “Steampowered Blues” and turned to collaborator Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) to co-write “Miles Away”, a plainly honest song about the complexity of emotional proximity. While paying tribute to some of his New Orleans heroes in the song “Life,” Cook tapped Richmond’s No BS! Brass Band.

Cook has been involved in a number of projects, including psych-folk band Megafaun. He is a recording and touring member of Hiss Golden Messenger as well.  He has collaborated with Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, performed with Mavis Staples, been Musical Director for The Blind Boys of Alabama and much more over his evolving career. His next run of dates begins in hs in Durham, NC at The Pinhook on April 7th. Additional dates are below and at

Phil Cook on Tour: 

6/7 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

6/8 Washington DC – Songbyrd

6/10 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade

7/31 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom*

8/1 San Francisco, CA – The Independent*

8/3-5 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon

8/7-8 Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern*

* with Daniel Norgren

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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