Kyle Cook with Special Guest Paul McDonald

Sam's Burger Joint Presents:

Kyle Cook with Special Guest Paul McDonald

Sun, April 7, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 18 and over

NO Seating GUARANTEED. Any Seating Available is on a First Come, First Served Basis. NO REFUNDS all sales final. 

All Minors Will Be Charged an Additional $5 At the Door. 17 & Under Admitted with Parent or Guardian Only. 

Kyle Cook
Kyle Cook
For two decades, Kyle Cook spent the bulk of his musical life as the lead guitarist of matchbox
twenty. He co-wrote some of the songs and invented many of the instrumental riffs that have become
distinguishing parts in such radio staples as “Real World,” “Unwell” and “Bent.” But plenty of his
creative persona was held in check as he collaborated in a team effort.
With Wolves, his solo debut, Cook invests so much of himself in the project that a discerning
listener can get a good idea of who the guitar player really is. He’s a studied musician with an all-
American Midwestern background, a guy who has a penchant for classic rock with just enough classical
training to make him dangerous, and an adult whose experiences with the cycle of love and loss are
extraordinarily familiar.
Wolves explores the complicated progression of heartbreak and healing while shining a light on
his musical influences. The Queen-ish guitar tones in “Better This Way,” the Tom Petty-sounding
foundation of “Wishing Well” and The Eagles-like harmonies in “I Would’ve Left Me Too” all point to
the kinds of popular music – melodic songs with sturdy-but-simple arrangements – that influenced his
ascent. The string section in the closing “Silver Lining (Opus)” harkens to the formal orchestral training
he received at the start of his musical journey. Meanwhile, the resigned anger in “Would It Kill You” and
the haunting loneliness in “Ghost Towns” point to the difficult personal struggle he endured with the
breakup of a long-term marriage.
It’s all delivered with a fuzzy, guy-next-door vocal quality that makes Cook a bit of a rarity: a
rock star whose restraint makes him completely relatable.
“Tastefulness has always been something that matters to me,” he says. “Sometimes it’s the notes
that you don’t put in there or the space that you provide that says the most.”
Wolves was a lengthy, four-year exploration that places Cook in a new role. As his life at home
evolved, Cook had plenty of emotions to work through. Some found their way into co-writing sessions in
Nashville, where he moved during the last decade. And when he wrote “Wolves,” a metaphoric folk song
that takes stock of dangerous people, he realized he was opening up a deep well that didn’t fit matchbox
“That was the catalyst that spearheaded the whole idea of exploring what those wolves are and
what they mean in my life,” he says.
That exploration allowed Cook to create songs that fit his own voice, and to break the creative
conventions he’d willingly lived with for years, including song length. “Wolves” is barely two minutes
long, while the album’s concluding “Silver Lining (Opus)” meshes three songs and one additional chorus
in an ambitious 13-minute work. The span between those two tracks demonstrates how willing Cook was
to smash the barriers of the standard, three-minute pop song as he explored an internal jumble of
As a result, Wolves is an extremely personal album. But it also carries a universal sensibility. It
purposely leaves plenty of room for a fan to adapt the material to their own world.
“The act of reading between the lines when it comes to lyrics and music is really what I love
artistically,” Cook says. “If you think about it, that’s what music is. It’s a feeling captured in sound, but
you can take it a million different ways.”
Songs have long been the central motivator in Cook’s musical life. He grew up in isolated
Frankfort, Indiana, 50 minutes northwest of Indianapolis. Once he had a car, he was able to get to
concerts on occasion in Indy, or even in Chicago, but the radio was much more accessible, and it shaped
his musical identity.
Cook’s first musical training came on a violin, an instrument he picked up at an opportune
moment in junior high. But when Guns N’ Roses released the landmark Appetite for Destruction, Cook
was transfixed by the power of rock n’ roll and started learning to play the guitar parts using an acoustic
model his stepfather had left in a closet. Cook took it to orchestra rehearsals and played it when the
director gave the musicians a rest. Eventually, she made a space in the orchestra for guitar. That led
naturally to playing in a series of local bands.
Paul McDonald
Paul McDonald
Paul McDonald’s forthcoming debut full-length album “Modern Hearts” is a testimony of selfdestruction
and salvation. Billboard describes it as "a beautiful journey of of artistic and personal
growth". An album bursting with anthemic hooks, majestically texted alt-rock, tinges of Southern soul,
literate introspection, and profound redemption.
The 14-track body of work that represents a full-spectrum of emotions, from soulful and
sorrowful tracks, to invigorating new-life anthems, to meditative mid-tempo numbers. Produced by
Jordan Lehning (Rayland Baxter, Robert Ellis, Andrew Combs), McDonald enlisted an all star cast of
musicians like Ian Fitchuk (James Bay, Kacey Musgraves, Jake Bugg), Todd Lombardo (Nial Horan,
Lera Lynn) and Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant) to help shape his narrative. Each song, forged of
equal parts of the singer/songwriter’s confessionalism & rock and roll irreverence, is brought to life by
lifting arrangements and refined vocal delivery. “Making this album saved my life. Darkness is a
beautiful gift. It introduced me to new layers of myself and gave me a brand new perspective, but I'm
happy to be out of it. The light feels pretty good these days.”
The troubadour has spent the past decade playing with rock bands The Grand Magnolias,
Hightide Blues, & a duo with actress Nikki Reed, utilizing his raw yet melodious and expressive voice to
deliver a handful of albums. Paul’s broadly resonant musicality has garnered him international acclaim
and coverage from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, MTV, and enabled him to tour the world and
share the stage with a diverse array of classic and current icons. Select performance highlights include
sharing the stage and touring with artists such as Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Crosby, Stills, & Nash,
The Revivalists, Zac Brown, Hanson, Father John Misty, Emmylou Harris, and appearing at festivals
such as Bonnaroo, SXSW, Live On the Green, and Hangout Festival and performing on nationally
televised shows like “Good Morning America”, “The Today Show”, “NBC’s Parenthood”, and “The
Tonight Show.”
Venue Information:
Sam's Burger Joint
330 East Grayson Street
San Antonio, TX, 78215