Singer, songwriter and musician Joey Cook stands out in a crowd. Her brightly colored hair and unique style make sure of that, but it's her raw talent and multi-faceted voice that bring the crowd to her.
She got her national break on the 14th season of "American Idol," where she made it all the way to the Top 8. Since then she's been hard at work expanding her craft and prepping for her new album, titled "The Big Girl Album," with her band the Indigo Cats.
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After she wrapped up her time on "American Idol," she worked with YouTube sensations Postmodern Jukebox, who are known for their ragtime and jazz-inspired renditions of modern pop songs. It was an easy fit for Cook's mix of the eclectic and the traditional.
She said she looks forward to bringing her show to the Irish Coast Pub in Gulfport at 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
"You know, I've just finished a full U.S. tour with Postmodern Jukebox, and we never hit Mississippi," she said, "so it's kind of a no-man-left-behind thing."
For the past two years the Virginia native has been living in New Orleans, absorbing the culture and expanding her abilities.
"I play accordion, and it's really difficult to learn more about that instrument in other cities," she said. "You know, when people hear accordion they usually think polka, and that's not exactly my style.
"Don't get me wrong. I enjoy polka music, but I really like old French music -- Edith Piaf-style French music -- old Italian, very kind of romantic songs, romantic accordion, if you will, and I wanted to learn more, and New Orleans is very accepting of the accordion as an instrument."
Her touring band, the Indigo Cats, is made up of acts from the Hampton, Va., area, including The Lovecats on vocals and keyboards. The band also has the drummer from an area indie rock act called Mammoth Indigo.
"My friend Megan Moats and her husband, Zach, are in a band called The Lovecats, and they told me about this show, you know. I've never played Gulfport before so I really want to. You know, it's only an hour away."
Her upcoming album is being mixed and mastered, and the entire endeavor was what Cook calls fan-funded.
"We did a donation campaign with Indiegogo and raised $15,000 to record it," she said. "It's all original music, and it's insanely dear to my heart. We basically took all the songs that were only me and my ukulele or me and my accordion and made them for a full band, and when I say full band I mean, like, nine people and me."
As of now it'll be released as Joey Cook and the Indigo Cats, and Cook said it should be available before May.
Cook also will play the Julep Room in Ocean Springs on Feb. 12.