“But the thrill we’ve never known is the thrill that will get you when you get your picture on the cover of the ‘Rolling Stone.’”
- Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
Smyrna singer/songwriter Wesley Cook may not be on the cover of “Rolling Stone” yet, but he has made it inside the magazine as a finalist in the magazine’s “Street to Stage” contest, a national competition that seeks to launch one local musician into stardom.
“Even if I don’t advance any further, I’m just glad I got this far,” he said. “This is still very new that I’m at the next level. But even if I don’t, there’s been so much good to come out of this and they’ll never be able to take away the fact that I’ve been in ‘Rolling Stone.’”
Cook, who was featured in the June 22 and July 24 issues of the magazine, was chosen to represent Atlanta as one of the contest’s eight competitors. Fans were able to vote for their favorite artist at the contest’s website.
“A couple of weeks ago they closed the polls to tally it up to eliminate the bottom four,” he said. “So as of (this week), I got the email that said, ‘Hey, you’ve made the top four.’
The winner of the competition gets to perform at the Rolling Stone Rock Room during a major music festival in Austin, Texas in 2012. Voting for the contest ends Sept. 22.
His journey onto the pages of Rolling Stone began around the world in Germany where was his father was a schoolteacher on a military base. He explained that growing up in Europe he was exposed to all genres of music from Gypsy, folk, blues, soul and classic country.
“I do have an old-soul kind of feel in a lot of the stuff I do,” he said. “But stylistically, I picked up a lot of stuff from my contemporaries like Dave Matthews when I was growing up. So there’s a lot of that in my music as well.”
Cook, whose mother is from Georgia, eventually ended up back in the United States for college where he attended the University of Georgia. He’s been performing since he graduated in 2004 and has released two albums: “We’ve Been Here Before,” issued in 2005, and “New Ground,” released in 2010. Cook wrote, produced and arranged both albums.
“I thoroughly enjoy what I do,” he said. “One of the things I’ve always heard is that I connect well with the audience. You’re supposed to go somewhere else with music. It’s an escape. It’s a show, but it’s also removal from stuff. People feed off the fact that they get how much I like it when I’m doing it. They get that it’s a groove thing.”