The Cedar Presents
TUOMO & MARKUS with Andy Cook
Friday, January 18th, 2019 / Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 8:00 PM
$15 Advance / $18 Day of Show
This is a seated show. General Admission tickets are available online, by phone, Electric Fetus, and The Cedar during shows.
Tuomo & Markus is a new band fronted by acclaimed Finnish soul artist Tuomo Prättälä and singer/songwriter Markus Nordenstreng of The Latebirds.
The two gentlemen gathered spontaneously at Wavelab Studio in Tucson AZ to record new music with their friends who included Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, Calexico-members John Convertino, Joey Burns and Jakob Valenzuela as well as Gary Louris from The Jayhawks who also contributed the album’s opening track 'Over The Rooftops'.
The resulted debut album 'Dead Circles’ was released in North America in September 2018, gaining favorable reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone and KEXP. Following their album release Tuomo & Markus released 'America Get Together’ EP in October 2018, featuring politically charged covers of Prince, Bob Dylan and The Youngbloods.
While their craftsmanship and timeless songwriting are rooted in the great American songbook and some of the harmonies may be reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel, Tuomo & Markus have unique voices of their own. Their fearless arrangements combine cosmic Americana with cinematic soundscapes ranging from Nordic jazz to rootsy folk, soul and even prog rock.
The group’s six-piece live lineup includes Finnish jazz trumpet sensation Verneri Pohjola. With Pohjola onboard the band’s psychedelic influences have become all the more evident.
What’s a man, anyway? It’s the central question at the heart of Minnesota-based songwriter Andy Cook’s most recent EP Modern Man—a 22-minute indie-rock/Americana ride that stokes twinges of nostalgia with jangly guitars, articulate synth lines and driving percussion.
The EP follows Cook digging into life in this hyper-digital age as the music harkens back to classic American songwriters. Modern Man takes a hard look at the present in its lyric-driven, sonically-rich landscape. “We’re living in a wicked world, where nobody believes anything they’ve heard…just a picture of a pretty face, with lonely eyes and a made-up grace,” we hear over a bouncing guitar line in the lead track “Swirl”—a song reminiscent of Real Estate or Kurt Vile, and that oscillates between pessimism of social media-curated life and optimism that we can be happy in our own shoes.
These observations are less criticism than they are experience, from the point of view of an artist who is finding his own voice and a comfort in presenting this music without trying to be something he’s not. Cook has long felt like someone who almost fits in, but not quite—stuck between who he wants to be, the pressures and images surrounding us daily, and the desire to be “in” while still being individual.
“These songs might mean something totally different to listeners than they do to me – but they mean something, and that’s what matters most,” Cook says. In this way, Modern Man is at once personal and made for peers in modern society. “I’m writing about experiences we live every day. There’s a kid inside of us and a mirror in front, and we need to ask them both questions if we’re going to figure out who we want to be.” After all, what’s a man, anyway?