If it’s true that rock ‘n roll is dead, Reignwolf didn’t get the memo.
Saskatchewan-born guitar virtuoso Jordan Cook, (aka Reignwolf) is without question the most captivating blues-based performer to emerge since Jack White. The magnetically enigmatic, multitalented musician has the innate ability to unfurl technically daunting riffs that erupt into frantic, wailing solos with an authentic onstage mania that makes it irrefutably clear he was put on this Earth to extricate the very institution of modern day rock ‘n roll.
Cook is not only a bonafide guitar phenom and a brilliant songwriter, but he’s also a charismatic performer with a Stones-y swagger that makes him appear effortlessly cooler than 99.9 per cent of people could ever hope to be. His supreme level of musicianship is undeniable, but his raw and visceral performance style also alludes to a sense of Misfits-esque anarchy. Whether he’s shredding his Gibson 335 on top of a speaker, or dizzyingly assaulting his instrument by sliding it against his microphone stand — he delivers an endless frenzy of blues-rock licks so ferociously bombastic they will alter everything you thought you knew about the electric guitar.
Reignwolf commenced his Saturday night headlining set with a blast of Hendrixian force that nearly melted the walls off of DC 9. Within minutes of striking that initial electrifying chord, he went behind the drums and proved his immense dexterity by playing both instruments simultaneously; a feat conquered with such prowess and indescribable mastery it felt as though an invisible wire was transmitting electricity from each note directly into the souls of the audience.
After an erratically engaging introduction, the raven-haired rocker took off his leather jacket while bass player, (Stitch) and drummer, (Joseph Braley) joined him on stage. Together they conjured up quite a fever that even resulted in some damaged gear, but that didn’t seem to phase the effervescent future king of rock ‘n roll. Every monstrous, knotty song the trio tackled featured at least one guitar solo — each one further solidifying Reignwolf’s complete mastery of the sort of raw aggression that inspired people to characterize the blues as the devil’s music.
The thunderous 60-minute set, which included hauntingly radical renditions of “Bicycle” and “Old Man,” left the extremely diverse crowd sweat-soaked, speechless, and desperately anxious for more. Fortunately, the Canadian guitar god himself engaged with his fans for almost two hours after the set, (a gesture that proves humility can still exist even on the brink of rock ‘n roll superstardom.)
Obviously this hair-raising talent wasn’t conceived overnight. Cook’s tireless ambition started to take shape after he picked up his dad’s Fender Stratocaster for the very first time when he was only 2-years-old. Instead of watching Sesame Street or learning how to ride a tricycle, (is that what 2 year-olds do?) Cook focused on developing his craft and with guidance from his father he quickly became a widely-respected guitar prodigy. By the age of 15, he was declared the revelation of Switzerland’s prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival and also shared the stage with BB King and Van Morrison. He later became the first Canadian artist to tour China and received immense critical acclaim — even being hailed as “the finest player in the world today” by legendary guitarist, Jeff Healey.
Much like his iconic predecessors, he possesses the rare gifts of being able to balance the revered ideals of 70’s blues-rock while simultaneously creating artful, whiplash melodies that sound entirely unique. At his core, Reignwolf is loud, dangerous and unabashedly in your face — exactly as rock ‘n roll should be.
To put it simply, he’s a blowtorch; hurry up and catch him before he sets the world aflame.