Down with the sickness

Yellow!  Thanks so much to Cam for helping us out and everyone who came out to the show at Wayward Council in Gainesville on Wednesday night.  It was a blast!  Also, thanks very much to Kat and Amanda and all of their very friendly roommates, cats, dogs, and beautiful banana spiders for keeping us safe and comfortable while one of our members was battling a quick case of the flu.  On that note, sorry we missed the show in Tampa last night and we hope you all enjoyed Tin Armor.

We are back on track and on our way to play tonight in St. Augustine, FL @ the Fortress of Solid Dudes.

Here’s a quick list of the shows that are left on our tour:

7/24 Atlanta, GA @ Wonder Root
7/26 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
7/27 Richmond, VA @ Sprout
7/29 West Chester, PA @ HOUSE SHOW! talk to these cool dudes
7/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store

Loons invade the south!


Yellow folks and friends! We Loons have made it more than half way through the tour with Tin Armor and it has been one heck of a wild ride. We’ve played many great shows and met some really amazing people along the way. In between, we’ve worked on the van several times, gone to the beach, and were almost killed by an out of control drunk driver in a monster SUV that came crashing though several cars and smashed the back of our van in a parking lot as we were loading our gear out of a club in Tuscaloosa. Though several of our crew had to jump out of the way and also battle the drunk driver for her keys (after which, she began to flee the scene on foot), we are all okay and the van took minimal damage to her rear end. We’d like to take a moment and remind you how uncool it is to drink and drive :).


Last night’s show in New Orleans was absolutely fantastic and we thank everyone who came out as well as the good people who work and operate the venue/ bar, Siberia.

We are currently taking the sea salt and beach sand we gathered today and making our way to Gainesville, FLA to play at Wayward Council and we hope to see some old friends when we get there. Thanks for following along. Until the next report, good luck out there.


Nasty Fancy Review

Here is a little snip from a great review on, of our July 12th performance at the Grog Shop:

After a trip to the bar, I anxiously awaited the next band’s performance. OK, these guys are shoeless. Andy Cook and the Wanderloons was their name, and they sounded wonderful. Singer and guitarist, Andy Cook, who is the brains behind the joyful lyrics and upbeat poppy sound, had the voice of an angel. Yes, I said it. The arrangements these guys did with their instruments would make many musicians jealous. A handful of songs later, I wanted to buy Cook’s album Sing, Dionysus! which is available on iTunes. I seriously recommend you guys give this album a listen. Cook is one of the best unsigned musicians I’ve seen in a long time.

Round two

Hey, y’all! The last several shows have been absolutely wonderful. Thanks a bunch to Reverse The Curse and Tin Armor for having the loons play each of their record release shows this past week. It meant the world to us and we congratulate both bands on making their best music to date. We also had the most amazing time opening up this years Berea Fest with so many great friends and bands. Thanks to everyone involved for having us!

We kick off round two of our summer tour at Arlin’s Bar in Cincinnati tonight and we couldn’t be more excited. Hope to see the many friends we’ve met visiting Cincy in the past.

Check out the photo page to see some fun pics from tour thus far… See ya down the road.


Upcoming Tour Dates

Yellow!  Here’s a quick update for our upcoming tour dates.  Just a few add-ons that came together recently.  Please, if you know anyone in any of these cities and think that they would like the Loons, send ’em a message or give ’em a call, and help support us while on this long and exciting journey.  Thank you and again, thanks to Tin Armor for bringing us along!

–  Andy

7/10 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Music Joint
7/11 Normal, IL @ Coffee Joint
7/12 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
7/14 Columbus, OH @ Zeno’s Bar (Basement) (Tin Armor-Life of Abundance Record Release Party)
7/15 Berea, OH @ Berea Fest
7/16 Cincinnati, OH @ Arlin’s
7/17 Memphis, TN @ Court House Co-op
7/18 Tuscaloosa, AL @ Egan’s Bar
7/19 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
7/20 Gainesville, FL @ Wayward Council
7/21 Tampa, FL @ Transitions Art Gallery
7/24 Atlanta, GA @ Wonder Root
7/26 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
7/27 Richmond, VA @ Sprout
7/29 West Chester, PA @ HOUSE SHOW! talk to these cool dudes
7/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store

City Museum here we come!

Yellow friends!!! We are playing at The Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois, Saint Louis, MO 63116) tonight in St. Louis. If you know anyone around that area, please, pass the word…

Tour with Tin Armor has been exceptionally fun thus far and looking for veggie oil for our van is always an adventure. Here’s a picture of me assisting Aaron in loading up some very fine and clean veggie oil:


Thanks to Kat and Clint for throwing us an extremely last minute show at their house in Indianapolis last night. We all had an amazing time and we hope to get back there again this fall. Talk to ya soon.


…on 2 day 2

Yellow and happy festivities on this beautiful 4th of July. The first day of tour was yesterday and proved to be a good kick off with a very fun show and some good folks to share it with in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tin Armor, as usual, gave us all a good fix of much needed rock ‘n’ roll inspiration and we thank them very much for bringing us along on the trip.

Though we don’t have many pictures from our first day of tour, here’s a good idea of what riding for many hours in a van on a hot summer day can do to Wanderloons drummer, Alex Morris:


More pictures of our Loony travels and activities will be posted soon including some pictures of our very awesome Veggie Oil Fueled tour van, owned and operated by Wanderloons key player, Aaron Madrigal. Please take a look at our upcoming tour dates and try to make it out to a show near you.



Summer Tour 2011

2011 Summer Tour along with Tin Armor
7/3 Grand Rapids, MI @ Mulligans
7/4 Louisville, KY @ 4th of July Cookout! Contact us for details
7/5 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
7/7 St. Louis, MO @ The Heavy Anchor
7/12 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
7/14 Columbus, OH @ Zeno’s Bar (Basement)
Life of Abundance Record Release Party
7/15 Berea, OH @ Berea Fest
7/16 Cincinnati, OH @ Arlin’s
7/17 Memphis, TN @ Court House Co-op
7/18 Tuscaloosa, AL @ Egan’s Bar
7/19 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
7/20 Gainesville, FL @ Wayward Council
7/21 Tampa, FL @ Transitions Art Gallery
7/24 Atlanta, GA @ Wonder Root
7/26 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
7/27 Richmond, VA @ Sprout
7/29 West Chester, PA @ HOUSE SHOW! talk to these cool dudes
7/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Pete’s Candy Store
7/31 Brooklyn, NY @ Lulu’s Article


Submitted Photo

Conjure a warm summer dream under a magical, open sky. The world is topsy-turvy and the soundtrack to it all is provided by the Wanderloons.

“They play for the sun and the stars and the moon,” Andy Cook wrote in a poem biography of the band. But mostly they play for themselves and a slowly growing number of fans.

Lead singer Andy Cook met band mates Eric Cronstein and Laura Dykes in 2007 when Cronstein moved to Cleveland. Cook and Cronstein began making music together while working at the same Cleveland recording studio. Dykes and Haley Antell, friends of Cook from Oberlin, Ohio, joined the boys to round out the Wanderloons quartet.

“The band sort of fell together,” Cook said. “It’s always changed members and done a lot of different, weird things with people coming in for a couple shows every once in a while. So it’s been kind of crazy, but now, it’s sort of settled into this. It just happened for the right reasons.”

In 2010, the Wanderloons released their first album, “Sing, Dionysus!” under the name Andy Cook. Cook said the group chose to release the album under his name because Cook and Cronstein recorded most of the songs on it with other friends before Dykes and Antell joined the band.

“The next record will probably just be the Wanderloons,” Cook said. “Because we’re all contributing this time and it’s sort of coming together as a band instead of the way we did it the last time, which was me just writing all the songs.”

Cook cited his love for his friends and their diversity and creativity as his greatest musical influence. He also finds inspiration in sitting and listening to other music for hours on end.

“We listen to a lot of music,” Cook said of the Wanderloons. “I also like to take long walks down the woods, you know. That makes me like to write songs.”

While Cook joked about his musical inspiration, he added that he doesn’t like trying to define the Wanderloons’ genre. He described it best as pop music, but said it’s also just music for everybody.

“I like humans playing music,” Cook said. “We search for some feelings in our playing more than worrying about being spot-on.”

Cronstein said the entire music-making process is imprecise.

“Songs are not created really until they are recorded,” Cronstein said. “So there’s like basically the seed of a song that Andy has, an acoustic guitar and the vocal. So the song structure is there, the melody is there, the song is there and then the rest of the writing process happens.”

“It starts with the idea, and usually we demo it out a couple times,” Cook added. “It leaves a certain element of the environment of wherever we’re recording. That moment gives the song a little bit of life that it wouldn’t have had if we had just planned everything out before.”

Cook said his songs are all about real issues and experiences in his life. Writing lyrics is one of his favorite parts of the musical process — choosing the right words to express his feelings in a captivating way and molding them into a sound he is happy with.

“I love making that sculpture,” Cook said. “The song.”

Once the words are down and the framework of the music is completed to Cook’s and his fellow Wanderloons’ satisfaction, the band gets ready to go live. Cook said his group has mostly been working on live performances for the past few months.

In their live shows, the Wanderloons let their musical variety come through on stage. A typical show involves two hollow-body electric guitars for the band’s signature warmth, an upright electric bass played by Dykes, a bell kit and piano played by Antell and anything else the group manages to throw in.

“On the record, there’s probably 30 different instruments,” Cronstein said. “Just whatever’s there at the time.”

All of the Wanderloons play in multiple bands in addition to this one. This makes it difficult for the band to come together to practice, so Cronstein said they are sometimes forced to go a few weeks without rehearsing. Most of their practices take place leading up to a tour or big show, when Cronstein makes the drive from his home in Columbus to Oberlin where the rest of the band lives.

When performing live, Cronstein said the Wanderloons enjoy mixing up the songs they perform, rotating sets so that their performance is always new. There are, however, staple songs in every show, including band favorites “Mulberry Moon” and “Grow Strong.”

The Wanderloons and a few extra friends took a long weekend in early March to play the East Coast, stopping in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Somerville, N.J. “We just played with different people that some of us knew,” Cook said. “It was awesome. It was a blast. It was a lot of driving and a lot of time, but we just always had fun. The dynamic of the band is really funny and we all just love it.”

“People always seem to think that band members hate each other,” Cronstein said. “I’ve spent weeks in the car with these people and never got remotely upset at anybody.”

Cook said the Wanderloons tour every six months, on average, but they plan to do shows every couple months starting in the near future. He added that it can be stressful travelling as a band because they usually have to scrape money together to keep their van in shape, and because every new trip presents unexpected challenges. It has also been difficult with members joining and leaving the group, but both Cook and Cronstein said all those annoyances are well worth the final payoff.

“There’s never a thought of ‘man, I would rather be doing something else,’” Cronstein said. “It’s all for the greater good — everything we do. You definitely lose money. I mean that’s what musicians … we’re not known for being wealthy people. It’s just doing what I love to do.”

“Playing music with people that you care about and love,” Cook added. “And sort of connect with in some way, in whatever way that is, it’s the most incredible feeling in the world, I think.”

Neither Cook nor Cronstein like to think in terms of reaching certain goals or progressing by levels. They said the Wanderloons like to do well now, rather than plan where they will be in five or 10 years’ time.

“We only have hopes,” Cook said. “I don’t wanna roll burritos anymore. It would be cool to be able to play music for a living ‘cause right now we’re working on new songs, and we’re just spending this whole week working on music. Now I have to go back to work after this, but this is what I would love to be able to do for a living.”

The Wanderloons promote themselves through Facebook, posters, press kits and a soon-to-be launched website.

They have played in Kent at the Rathskeller and the VIP Festival at The Vineyard. Cook released an EP and the CD “Through Leaves, Over Bridges” with Kent band American War.

Despite the 20-some years of musical experience between Cook and Cronstein, the Wanderloons are still waiting for the break every serious musician dreams of. They keep hoping, driven by fervor for the music.

“You gotta be fucking nuts,” Cook said. “You gotta be fucking crazy. You have to want it that bad, that’s it. If it’s not your passion, you’re just not going to do anything about it cause it’s so hard. I work at crappy jobs, and every spare ounce of my time I’m working on music. If you get knocked down or something, it’s what you’re willing to do. You gotta keep getting back up, and it’s gonna take time and effort and hard work.”

“It’s like being in love with anything, I guess,” Cronstein added. “You’re crazy about it. I’m 27 now, and I’m not planning on quitting any time soon.”

So the Wanderloons wander onward, following what moves them and sharing their birdsong along the way.

“I don’t want perfection,” Cook said. “We let it be loose. We have a good time.”

Contact Amy Cooknick at