Songs and Times Of Sam Cooke Review

I’ve long thought Sam Cooke doesn’t really get the attention his talent deserves in this day and age. He didn’t just have a great voice and arresting stage presence either, he also wrote some classic songs. Songs like You Send me, Wonderful World, Chain Gang and Twisting The Night Away informed many a good time doing the fifties and sixties.

Songs and Times Of Sam Cooke pays homage to his musical career through the voice and stagecraft of Australian born Gary Pinto and his crack six piece band. The night was broken down into two sets, with a short intermission in the middle. The first set focused on the more ballad side of his art, while the second set was more up-tempo and included more audience participation.



After a few hiccups with the sound during the beginning of the first set (the voice too low in the mix, the guitar too high) things came together into a killer groove. The ballad side of Cooke has always been my favourite and this proved to be true tonight as well. The second set featured more energy but felt a bit more generic. The band however, did get to stretch out and show their chops.

With the announcement of Netflix’s upcoming ReMastered documentary on Sam arriving later this month, let’s hope this begins a golden renaissance of Cooke and his music. Tonight was a great reminder of how incredible his music is and it deserves to be a bigger part of our popular culture.

Songs and Times Of Sam Cooke is currently playing at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Rob Hudson