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Last time he was in Austin, Reignwolf’s Jordan Cook almost didn’t leave

Eric Webb

Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 2, 2014

After his jaw-dropping sets at last year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, this city almost wouldn’t let Reignwolf leave.

Jordan Cook, the man behind the blues-metal revelation, told us by phone last week that his tour bus ran out of gas on the way out of town last fall. Cook and his band were sitting on a highway exit in “who knows where,” but it doesn’t sound like their spirits dipped too far. ACL Fest had been “such an amazing adventure,” Cook says. “It was awesome being there. We were on a high.”

Fortunately, they got on their way. As Cook says, “In Reignwolf fashion, it worked out somehow.”

The brush with suburban purgatory didn’t scare them off: Reignwolf returns to Stubb’s on Saturday night to bring their brand of black magic back to Austin’s stages. You can read our full interview with Cook on MyStatesman (paywall alert), but here’s a few highlights from the conversation.

On Reignwolf’s all-consuming live shows

Cook, plaid-clad, bearded and be-capped, appeared genuinely possessed at ACL Fest as he shredded and snarled his way through songs, mounted bass drums and ripped out his earpiece at the festival. (“Kill the monitor!” was a takeaway quote from his first weekend show.) When singing, his voice is raspy and warm like hot smoke, but it almost glides as it turns into a barbed-wire tornado of growls. And all it takes is using that howl for one good cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” to make a name for yourself.

“You just go for it,” Cook says of performing. “Where it takes you, you just don’t know — or at least I don’t. You go for the bruises and cuts. You don’t think about it until you don’t have any guitars left.”

On being an original

The way the singer speaks of his combustible stage presence, you would think that he actually did conjure his talents out of some smoking cauldron in the inky night. The question Cook asks himself: “How am I going to keep this thing going with a lot of fire?”

“I wanted to keep people and myself into it and be something I hadn’t seen before,” Cook says. “It’s gotten us some special looks. We’re thankful for it.”

On what’s coming Saturday night

“We’re going to begin where we left off,” Cook says. “All the artists I look up to came out of Austin and played Stubb’s. It’s going to be incredible to play in Texas. Expect it to go off.”

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