#BreakingTheIce Ricky Cook

Tennessee native Ricky Cook sings traditional country music. Cook co-wrote all of the tracks on his first album “Thanks A Lot Loretta” which will be released on April 2nd. Cook, along with his good buddy J.P Pennington, wrote each track from their heart and soul. If you like real country music, you’re gonna love Ricky Cook.
1. Where are you answering these questions from & what are you wearing 
I’m at Hilltop Studios preparing to film Country Fix.  I’m in my normal jeans, boots, and button up.
2. What’s your official title and favorite thing about what you do?
Singer / Songwriter. I love everything about what I do! Well except the days a line won’t rhyme or a note or two comes out bad. That’s just life, right!
3. What are 3 things you CANNOT live without?
God, Mama, and Music.
4. How long have you been singing/performing?
Behind closed doors, a long time. In front of the public… a few years now.  I was busy training horses there for a while.
5. Who are some of your musical influences?
Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Alan Jackson to name a few. Pretty good list, ain’t it!
6. What’s the hardest life lesson you’ve learned?
Patience!  To depend on God more and myself less.  It’s amazing what you think you can do without him until you try.  Then you remember when that little voice whispers, ‘Hey dude, think ya might need me?’
7. Do you have a favorite restaurant or hang out spot in music city?
I do, I like to hang out at little dive bars around town, like Rebar over in Hermitage at the Dam. Now that’s me being bad again.  This answer doesn’t go well with the previous answer, but I’m not going to lie.  I’ve already learned that lesson. The loudest whisper I ever heard was for lying.
8. If you could duet with any female artist, who would you pick and why?
Of course, Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton, but other than my favorites I might say Miranda Lambert.  I think she’s great.  I like that she’s still traditional, and I really like her saltiness!
9. Who is your favorite country singer from the 90s?
10. Besides music, do you have any other talents or hobbies?
Yes, I trained horses for a very long time. I love horses and did win my share of championships. I love competition. I don’t like losing, but you’ve got to be a good loser to be a good winner.
11. Do you have a favorite place to perform?
I don’t. My favorite place is wherever someone wants to listen and enjoy what I do.
12. What’s one gift you will never forget?
My first horse. There was a man back home that owned coal mines, and he was a friend of my dad’s. He had a lot of money and raised quarter horses. If they were not ‘show quality,’ he would give them away to good homes. He gave me one when I was about seven or eight. I named him Dynamite. I was so excited!  You would have thought I just hit the lottery. But really to me, it was a lot better than hitting the lottery.
13. What current event has your eyes and ears? What are you doing about it? (perfect for any charity you’ve worked with or will be working with etc we just try to stay away from political topics)
I was blessed to be born healthy with the privilege to fulfill my life’s dreams. So, my heart goes out to all the kids battling for their lives throughout the world. I have always admired St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the work they do.  It’s absolutely amazing how many kids and families they provide healthcare for.  What am I doing about it, well I’m very limited as I’m only one person, but I promised God years ago if I were ever in a position to help I would.  So, for that reason, and because I do care, I’m donating half the proceeds of my album sales to St. Jude. I hope in some small way it helps St. Jude offer those children the help they need, and the opportunity to chase their dreams along life’s way.
14. How would you describe your music to new listeners?
Well, a music critic here in Nashville on Music Row said, ‘it’s country, country, country all the way.’
15. You have a new album coming out, what can you tell us about the project?
My album, what I’m really proud about, is that my co-writer, producer and great friend, J.P. Pennington and myself wrote the entire album. The songs on the album vary from a true love story about my grandparents and years of love, to a song about my dad and the struggles of raising all of us kids. Then there is a serious song about judging people, to light-hearted fun songs like, ‘Honk for a Hottie,’ to a sexy slow ballad, ‘I Wanna See You Satisfied‘ to country-kicking stuff like ‘Country Joe.’  To sum it up – variety!
16. You’re making your favorite sandwich… what’s on it?
That’s easy – Merita Lite bread, fresh from the garden ‘only”’tomato, bologna, Velveeta cheese and Hellman’s Mayo. Has to be exactly that way. I like to have it with a cold Pepsi. Magic!
17. Name one artist of any genre besides country that you are a fan of and tell us why?
Tina Turner. I love her music. I admire the struggles she went through to make it in the music business. She’s a strong woman with unbelievable talent.
18. What makes you laugh out loud?
Pranks. I probably shouldn’t say this, but if my baby sister tripped over a rock and took a big fall and didn’t really get hurt, I’d laugh out loud for real. We’re just kinda like that. I could cut my arm off, and she’d laugh.
19. Fill in the blank: my idea of success is …..
Happiness. If you’re happy and at peace with yourself, I don’t think there is a greater success than that.
20. Fill in the blank: Country music inspires me because … 
It usually tells a life story in 3 minutes.  If you listen close there are a lot of lessons that you can learn in these songs. I guess that’s why I’ve loved being a country songwriter. I get the chance to tell the stories of my life, others or just a story I had a great time making up.

Author: Brittany Vance

West Virginia born & bred living life in the DMV. I believe in kind hearts & strong drinks. Mom of two boys and Autism advocate. Music is not only powerful but magical. In the words of Merle Haggard: Good music will live forever. I am here to share that music with each of you.

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