When Jordan Cook lived on the prairies, he still went by Jordan Cook. Now he returns as Reignwolf, the name he gave to himself in Seattle, and now the three-man band he performs with.
He’s been away for years, but he still thinks of Saskatoon as home. It helps that his family still owns the house where he grew up.
“Without Saskatoon, I wouldn’t have any of this,” he said in a phone interview. “Being able to bring it back there means everything to me. It’s going to be amazing.”
Reignwolf will come through Saskatoon for a concert on Monday at the Coors Event Centre, followed by a show at The Exchange in Regina on Nov. 14.
It’s the first time the gritty blues-rock group has toured through the province in several years. According to Cook, the last time he was in Saskatoon was when Reignwolf performed as an opening act for Black Sabbath at the SaskTel Centre in 2014. He still calls that concert one of his greatest musical experiences in his hometown.
Cook said he always loves coming back to play where he grew up. He joked that two of his first babysitters and some of his old schoolteachers will be in the audience for the Saskatoon show — because he gets so much support from his old community.
Cook and bass player S.J. Kardash both hail from Saskatoon, while drummer Joseph Braley is originally from Texas. The current tour takes the group up the western coast of the United States and Canada before cutting across the country.
“The way (the band) is being received, even in spots we’ve never been before … it’s amazing,” he said.
The cold weather isn’t a new thing for Cook or Kardash — but Cook said Reignwolf’s drummer isn’t much of a fan. According to Cook, after recording their single Are You Satisfied? in Saskatoon a few years ago, Braley stepped from the heated studio building into the -40 C weather of a prairie winter and collapsed to the ground in a moment of physical shock.
“Every time he’s been back to Saskatoon since, he’s been like, ‘I hope that doesn’t happen again,’ ” Cook joked. “I get excited to bring him to Saskatoon.”
A lot of the city hasn’t changed since Cook grew up here — frigid climate included — and he’ll tell you that’s exactly the way he likes it.
“That’s beautiful to me. That part of it, I’ll never take for granted,” he said. “We’re really lucky to have it not be fast-paced … it’s such a great place to come home to.”
While the city hasn’t changed, Cook and Reignwolf most definitely have. When he still lived in the city, Cook said he performed as Jordan Cook. It wasn’t until he’d left to pursue a music career that he adopted the moniker of Reignwolf, and the two are very different performers.
The Cook that started out in Saskatoon was getting used to who he was as a performer. Reignwolf is much more raw, both lyrically and musically, with a rough, powerful, smoky sound that adds a brilliant layer to the blues rocker. And it means a lot for him to be able to share that new rawness with all the people he knew growing up, from friends still living in Saskatchewan to family, including his 91-year-old grandmother Effie.
“I really find when we get the audience going, everyone is giving something to each other. It’s the way concerts and rock and roll should be,” he said.
“The Reignwolf thing is how I feel when I play.”
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