Transforming pain and injustice into love and compassion is a rendering that has been universal to poets and prophets for centuries. In present times, choosing to amplify community and positivity through art can seem like a radical act. With the arrival of People Are My Drug, Phil Cook is taking the spark from lights left on by musical heroes and offering a torch for listeners as they navigate their own dark corners. Having only recently stepped to the center of the stage as a solo artist, Cook now takes a moment, citing the power of community as his thesis statement. Each track asserts that he alone is no greater than the sum of the people who have brought him to this moment. Since Southland Mission, Cook has performed with childhood heroes including Mavis Staples, Bruce Hornsby, John Prine, Amy Ray and The Blind Boys of Alabama. His band The Guitarheels forged a common language touring the world with Cook and he crafted each new song 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. He heard Brevan Hampden's distinct sanctified tambourine in his head the whole time he was writing for the sessions. The composition of the record plays as a love letter to Phil’s greatest inspiration of all: People.
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