Up All Night Album CoverBlues Blast Magazine “Up All Night” Review by Marty Gunther
Multi-instrumentalist Jook Bourke bridges the gap between blues and jazz with this interesting collection of original material after a career that’s featured the release of two previous acoustic blues CDs.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pa., but now living in Satellite Beach, Fla., he’s the son of big band clarinetist/sax player and bandleader Patty Bourke. A horn player like his father, he also shows prowess on horns, harmonica, keyboards and guitar in addition to providing vocals as he fronts the tight four-piece electric ensemble on “Up All Night.” The album is both reunion of old friends and a tribute to musical forebears. Drummer Mike Wilps’ father Shack played the skins in a succession of bands with Patty. Both of the dads are featured in photos that grace the CD cover and interior art. And guitarist/keyboard player/percussionist Donn Overly and bassist Ron Grkman also are old friends from the Keystone State. Tim Renshaw also contributes to the sound with a guest appearance on piano.
If you’re a fan of the New York based blues/fusion group Hasmat Modine, you’ll enjoy the kickoff tune, “Precious Eyes.” It begins with a haunting horn line as Bourke sings the praises about a lady: “What you got behind those eyes/You can’t talk/You can’t tell lies./I have seen this look before/I never knew if I’d see some more.” The tune swings from the jump.
A traditional blues sax line introduces “What Am I Gonna Do?” as the vocalist relates his concerns about coming face-to-face with true love. It’s a slow blues perfect for making time on the dance floor. The title track, “Up All Night,” follows. It’s uptempo with a Latin back beat and relates difficulties dealing with daytime problems after a sleepless night. The modern blues “Two Will Nicely Do” follows. It’s a paean to a quality relationship.
“Come On Man” questions the actions of someone acting ridiculously. A bluesy horn line carries the tune from beginning to end with guitar adding counterpoint rhythm. The mood darkens for “Ain’t No Body Knows,” dealing with the reality of being an adult and finding that hard work doesn’t necessarily bring expected rewards. Bourke’s vocals and Wilps’ drums propel the song. The uplifting “Capable Woman” follows, telling the tale of a lady who basically provides an antidote for the previous song.
If you’re single, you may relate to “Pizza Bones.” It’s tongue-in-cheek and gospel-tinged with a slight country feel and deals with the disgust the singer feels when looking into his refrigerator only to find nothing but stale crust in the pizza box. “A Gift For Everyday” returns the disc to its blues-jazz root. It sings the praises of the joy everyone feels because of “you being you.”
“Toby Love (The Cat)” details a case of feline envy. The singer’s woman is showing far more love to the critter than her human companion. It’s a perfect lead-in to “There She Goes,” in which Bourke displays his harmonica chops and the lady proves that her promise to leave was true. The disc finishes with “Thunder Comin,’” a steady-rocking autobiography of growing up in Pennsylvania when the boom ended in mining country.
Although it’s not your standard one-four-five blues, the disc swings steadily with well-conceived new material throughout. Bourke’s music touches down on many bases, and it’s definitely worth a listen. Available through Amazon and CDBaby.com. 
Up All Night Album CoverRoots Time (Belgium) “Up All Night” Review by Marty Gunther
And so we are back in the "hidden gems" ... Jook Bourke, coming from Pittsburgh, PA but now operating from Satellite Beach, FLA is a man of many instruments and the son of saxophonist / clarinetist / bandleader Patty and as such a little bit of heredity. He himself plays saxophone, alongside keys, guitar and harmonica, and after two acoustic blues records, he is now back with a real band record, along with his old mates Don Overly (guitar and piano), bassist Ron Grkman and drummer Mike Wilps . The father of the latter, Shack Wilps, in turn, was a drummer in the band dad Bourke.
The plate is set in the border area between jazz and blues, as will all the time fruitless search for a twelve degree blues. No, rather, you should not go in the modern versions à la Hazmat Modine search, or the jump blues, anyway, just in those genres, which are closest to jazz. That provides at times beautifully listening work on, such as opener "Precious Eyes" or piled single "Pizza Bones": this is music that is "off", in the sense that the musicians know very well what they are doing and that music as being the sum of rhythm and melody is given here highly skilled form and shape. Some will this diminish as "American" or "Too very easy listening", but I find it hard to agree: the rhythm section is the driving force behind each of the twelve original songs and the final shape is determined in part by the keys, strings and vocals.
Somewhere I read that one reviewer called the album "interesting". That's usually a euphemism for "I do not know what I should do with it." For me, the album certainly interesting, but quite a few listenings taught me more: there is life in the border zone between blues and jazz, especially if there is a tuft gospel is thrown on top. That's all available here and for the rest you have to listen especially for yourself, but you may or recommend starting with "Thunder Comin '", which closes the album. I'm sure you then all other songs will also want to hear and that you will not be disappointed. Welcome new name in my record collection, verily!
Up All Night Album CoverAtlanta Blues Society “Up All Night” Review by Review by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Jook Bourke is certainly no stranger to us here at www.Mary4Music.com. In addition to having worked with him on two of his three previous releases, last year a killer track of his was also part of our Mary4Music Presents: Keeping The Blues Alive - Volume Two Compilation CD and back in 2007 his song titled "Just A Minute" - off of the CD with the same name - was the winner of our website's Blewzzy Award. With that said, it was with great anticipation that I awaited the arrival his fourth release - "Up All Night".
As with his previous releases, "Up All Night" features all original music. As a matter of fact, recalling how his wonderful songwriting skills have impressed the hell out of me in the past, I can't wait to be hear these twelve. But let's first give credit where it is certainly due: Jook Bourke on vocals, backup vocals, guitar, saxophone, keyboards and harmonica; Mike Wilps on drums; Ron Grkman on bass; Donn Overly on Hammond organ, piano, percussion and guitar; and Tim Renshaw on piano.
Although the strong bass lines, led by Ron, and swinging sax leads by Jook, jazz this one up nicely, it's the vocals that make the track. Hearing Jook so coolly and so melodically sing the chorus on "Precious Eyes" is what did it for me.
The thirty second sultry sax intro into "What Am I Gonna Do" already had me, then Jook's vocals and background vocals kicked in and I was groovin' to an absolutely beautiful song that just kept getting more and more beautiful. Done in a style reminiscent of some of the classic fifty's hits, this one had a great beat and would be a hell of a song to dance to.
The very first few notes of this track had me swaying in my chair and the very first line had me wanting to quickly learn the chorus because I couldn't wait to sing along with Jook on "Two Will Nicely Do". Since I've been listening to this 2:36 song for over 20 minutes now I guess I'll tag this one the 'replay special'.
I can't help sounding like I'm gaga over the vocals on this disc, because I obviously am. However, the musicianship on all of these songs is quite good as well. As a matter of fact it's downright smokin' on "Ain't No Body Knows". Mike and Ron are rhythmically at the disc's best and Jook's showing his mastery over his guitar and sax equal that of his vocals.
"A Gift For Everyday" was obviously written for someone special in Jooks' life. That kind of someone who just by being themselves makes others feel good. We could all use a few dozen more of these kind of people in our lives. This song was beautifully written, beautifully sung and beautifully performed. Soft sax leads, relaxed rhythm, with soothing organ and piano backgrounds highlight this slow dancers delight.
On this particular track Jook's quite upset that in spite of being a handsome guy and real good guy who's a great provider he can't seem to get any of that "Toby Love". Cat people will enjoy the hilarious lyrics on this one.
Other tracks on "Up All Night" include: "Up All Night", "Come On Man", "Capable Woman", "There She Goes" and "Thunder Comin'".
It's such a sad fact that in this wide, wonderful world of music there are literally an uncountable number of outstanding writers, singers and performers that will never be heard by the masses. Allowing Jook Bourke to be one of them would be a travesty. Please check him out at www.jookbourke.net where you can read about the stories behind his music and give it a listen as well. And don't forget to tell him the Blewzzman sent ya.

Just A Minute Album Cover
Jook Bourke "Just A Minute" Review by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro @ October 2007
As the saying goes, history does repeat itself.  Just about three and a half years ago I wrote these words
........."This CD consists of one right after another of very interesting, sometimes humorous, often truthful and always cleverly written songs"......about a disc I was reviewing - "MY MOJO'S JUST TOO WEAK" - by JOOK BOURKE.  Well, here I now sit, reviewing "JUST A MINUTE", the latest JOOK BOURKE release, and the best way to describe this disc is to simply say it again - "This CD consists of one right after another of very interesting, sometimes humorous, often truthful and always cleverly written songs".  When quality is involved, consistency is a beautiful thing.

On "JUST A MINUTE", JOOK BOURKE once again takes topical events such
as hurricanes, and every day happenings like answering the telephone, and turns them into eleven masterfully written and superbly delivered original songs.  Of course, he's also does all the vocals, plays the guitars, bass, hand drum and harmonica and created all the drum loops. 

The title track, "JUST A MINUTE", is one of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard.  The lyrics simply state that by seeing his woman's smile or hearing her voice - even if just for a minute - is all he needs to soothe his blues.  JOOKS singing of these remarkable lyrics make them sound even more remarkable.  It took me a good 25 minuets to listen to this 2:47 track.  If this song ever gets discovered and recorded by a mainstream artist I guarantee it will top the charts.  This is the only track that featured another musician and CHRISTIAN HOWES did a beautiful job on the violin.

Living in the area where notorious hurricanes "FRANCIS" and "JEAN" struck within a two week period, JOOK'S unfortun
ately got experiences to relate on a track called "IT'S A HURRICANE".  Unfortunately, I live in the same area and just talking about makes me nervous, so you'll just have to listen to this track to hear what JOOK, and myself, think about these beasts. 

The title of another great track is not just the title, it's also an explanation of sorts.  Ya see, you can't always be on top of your game and when some low down misery gets the best of him, JOOK'S got no problem with letting folks know that
"SOMETIMES I JUST NEED TO FEEL THIS WAY". More great vocals and top notch acoustic guitar pickin' highlight this one.

"AREA CODE 212" is, of course, all about New York, New York - a place which as JOOK says - "Is so important, you've got to say it twice".  Having wished he moved there sooner when he could have bought the whole place for $24, you can imagine his disappointment when his moving truck got a ticket for five times as much.  New Yawkers are going to love this one.  Great harp and bass playing and JOOK doing his own background vocals make this one of the discs best.

The lack of caller ID has JOOK in a constant debate - with himself, as to if he should he answer the phone or not. You see, it's very obvious that "SOMEBODY'S CALLING", but who could it be?  The many possibilities cause the phone to be on it's thirteenth ring on this very hilarious song.  More great lyrics and vocals on this one.


Here's the place to check JOOK out at...... www.jookbourke.com..... and make sure you tell him the Blewzzman sent ya.  While you're doin' that, I'm going back to listen to "JUST A MINUTE" a few more times. Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music

Just A Minute Album Cover
Blues Bytes Review of "Just A Minute", by Graham Clarke
It's been three years since Jook Bourke's last release, the highly entertaining and thought-provoking My Mojo's Just Too Weak.   His latest release, Just A Minute, offers more great songwriting and performances.  Bourke typically eschews the traditional approach to acoustic blues, adding drum or percussion tracks to a lot of his songs.  His lyrics sometime venture away from traditional blues forms also, and sometimes his arrangements add elements of rock, country, and even gospel. 

That being said, he's a compelling, always rewarding performer, whether he's singing about his favorite spice in "Hot Pepper Sauce," which might have you reaching for your bottle of the stuff, or the perils we southerners dread every year about this time in "It's A Hurricane," or even those down points in your everyday life that can't always be explained ("Sometimes I Need To Feel This Way").  "Somebody's Callin'" is even a reminder of those dark days before caller ID was the norm and you just couldn't be sure who that was on the other end of the line.

The title track is a sweet love song, as is "Nobody Can Do What I Can Do."   "I Need To Get Home" recounts the hardship of being separated from a loved one, and the inspirational "Reach Out" is also a standout.  There's also "Area Code 212," a hilarious jibe at New York City, and Bourke closes out the disc with "Boca Raton," a tribute to a beautiful city that looks even better when stuck up north during the winter.

Just A Minute is another winner from Jook  Bourke, loaded with masterful guitar work and highly original songwriting.  Go to www.cdbaby.com and check it out, and visit www.jookbourke.com while you're online. 
Graham Clarke Blues Bytes

Just A Minute Album Cover
Blues Revue Magazine Review of "Just A Minute", by Tim Hyslop, Feb/Mar 2008
A Pittsburgh native living in Florida, singer-songwriter Jook Bourke augments his (usually acoustic) guitar and harmonica with organic sounding drum loops. His third album, the self released "Just A Minute", is worth tracking down simple to hear the title track, a splendid doo-wop-inspired R&B tune with emotional wallop of a standard. But don't stop there: Stick around for the subtly socially conscious "Reach Out," the tropical shuffle "It's A Hurricane," the Delta slide-powered "Sometimes I Just Need To Feel This Way," and the gracefully mellow "Boca Raton" and "Somebody's Calling."

Just A Minute Album Cover
Minor 7th Review of "Just A Minute", by Fred Kraus
Just a Minute," 2007 Jook Bourke discovers the smooth spot where the blues takes a load off and offers a respite from life's travails on "Just A Minute." This pleasant, 11-song collection (all penned by Bourke) features his comfortable tenor, which occasionally dips into a throaty growl. Equally adept on guitar and harmonica, he files the rough edges off the traditional blues genre and creates an amalgam of jazz-inflected, bluesy tracks. The story-based lyrics revolve predominantly around relationships and their mendings and frayings. There are many enjoyable moments on this, his third solo CD, following on the heels of his "My Mojo's Just Too Weak." Though he grew up in Pittsburgh, Bourke seems to have absorbed some of the laid-back leanings of his present environs of Satellite Beach, Florida. Have a favorite beverage handy. © Fred Kraus  Minor 7th.

My Mojo's Just Too Weak Album Cover
Blues Revue Magazine Review of "My Mojo's Just Too Weak", by Tim Hyslop, Dec/Jan 2005
My Mojo's Just Too Weak is a strong country blues-tinged self-release from Jook Bourke,a Florida resident originally from Pittsburgh. Though his resonator guitar parts come straight out of Mississippi,Bourke has updated the style with a drum machine and modern melodies for the vocal lines-a nice match for his insightful,humorous lyrics. Each song lays out a true-blue situation,elaborating on a fleeting notion (I Must Be Gone),keen observation (She Laid It On),or trenchant feeling (It's Already Too Long). It's a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable disc.
Written by Tom Hyslop Blues Revue Dec/Jan 2005

My Mojo's Just Too Weak Album Cover
Blues Bytes Review of "My Mojo's Just Too Weak", by Graham Clarke
Jook Bourke is a Florida-based blues singer/songwriter whose lyrics reflect a witty look at life and love. His latest release, My Mojo’s Just Too Weak, features some clever songwriting and acoustic guitar work. Take “That Was It?,” for example. Bourke is on life support, reflecting over his life, what he did do, didn’t do, and should have done, and being disappointed in his overall body of work, if you will, only to be snatched from death’s door at the last moment. It’s a darkly humorous look into our own lives as well as Bourke’s, and there are a lot of shoulda, coulda, wouldas for all of us over the years. The real laugher is “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” an hilarious ode of sorts to, of all things, Bourke’s cat, featuring the lyric, “If I’d known you’d get this big or live this long/Fifteen years ago I woulda got a dog,” a line many cat owners can relate to. Another keeper is “I Must Be Gone,” about a night out with the girls where nobody notices poor Jook until it’s time to pay the tab and go fetch the car in the rain. “Stuck Being Me” is another song about dreams that didn’t work out, where Bourke sings about wanting to be an astronaut or a football player as a youth, but that he ended up “stuck being me.” “It’s Already Too Long” is another most guys can relate to, forever waiting for your date to get ready. My favorite is “You Could Just Be Ahead Of Your Time,” about being out of step from everyone else in life. According to Bourke, if this sounds familiar, maybe you’re just ahead of the curve. To go along with his knack for witty and insightful lyrics, Bourke is also a great acoustic guitarist and singer. This disc will put a big smile on your face if you give it a chance.
Written by Graham Clarke Blues Bytes

My Mojo's Just Too Weak Album Cover
Jook Bourke "My Mojo's Just Too Weak" Review by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro @ September 2004
It's quite a challenge for a band or a musician to get me to listen to and review a CD that's a style of blues music that normally is not my listening preference. On the other hand, it's quite an accomplishment for them when the CD impresses me. "MY MOJO'S JUST TOO WEAK" succeeded at both - it met the challenge and overwhelmingly impressed me.
It's such a pleasure for a reviewer when the product being reviewed is so talent laden. This CD consists of one right after another of very interesting, sometimes humorous, often truthful and always cleverly written songs. On "MY MOJO'S JUST TOO WEAK", JOOK BOURKE not only wrote all eleven tracks, he also does all the vocals, plays the harmonica and guitars and constructed all the drum loops. Amazing! And, that's just not my reaction, that's the description of the results.
On the title track, "MY MOJO IS JUST TOO WEAK", JOOK sings about the pages in his little black book turning yellow and shriveling up. Seeking help from 'Madam Clara' he gets told that "there ain't no help for him, his Mojo is just too weak.
"WOULD YOU HELP ME THROUGH THIS LIFE?" is a song about a man contemplating leaving his woman. As he seeks advice from his brother he is told that she is perfect for him and "she could help him through this life, be there when he gets old and hold him when it gets cold. When he runs into this lady shortly afterward he follows his brothers advice by stating to her that HE can help HER through this life, be there for HER when SHE gets old and hold HER when SHE gets cold.
On "YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY", after two minutes of JOOK ranting about how crazy his woman is apparently driving him, the last thirty seconds reveal that it isn't his woman he is singing about at all. The revelation that he is singing about his cat becomes quite evident when he states that "If I had known you'd get this big and live this long, 15 years ago I'd have gotten a dog instead."
There is no question that "IT'S ALREADY TOO LONG", is my favorite track on this CD. The song is about a man waiting for his woman to get ready as they are about to head out somewhere. The lyrics are so absolutely hilarious and candidly clever that I, at one point considered writing them out in full, right here in the review. However, I think they will be more enjoyable to you when heard being sung by JOOK BOURKE himself.
It's this type of singing, song writing, and guitar playing that may someday actually make me a fan of acoustic, roots type blues music. Well done JOOK! Apparently, there's nothing weak at all about your mojo.

My Mojo's Just Too Weak Album Cover
Minor 7th Review of "My Mojo's Just Too Weak", by Pamela Dow
"My Mojo's Just Too Weak" 2004 "My Mojo’s Just Too Weak", clearly reflects the magic behind Jook Bourke’s lyrics as a singer-songwriter and his strength as an acoustic blues guitarist and harp player. Bourke blends crisp textures and rich harmonies to this unique style of acoustic blues. He strays from the standard 12 bar format, while maintaining vital blues elements like gospel, rock and country. "My Mojo’s Just Too Weak" contains eleven tracks of storytelling acoustic blues, focused on the humorous and ironic side of living and loving. Some fine examples are, "That Was It?", "I Must Be Gone", and "Stuck Being Me". This new release is an outstanding collection of original blues, like a combination of Keb' Mo and Little Feat, Bourke’s CD is absolutely infectious.
© Pamela Dow  Minor 7th

A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay Album Cover
EarBuzz Review of "A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay"
Jook Bourke's record, "A Redhead from Chesapeake Bay", is fusion of blues, bluegrass, and folk with a focus on the dominant voice of the well-played acoustic guitar. The title track is as fine a story-telling piece of music heard in the genre. A modern rhythmic track supports travis-style guitar picking and the story of the redhead. Bourke dedicates a black-queen-styled slide-blues piece to the Grandfather he never met in, "Granddad's Face". Bourke sings, 'they say you thought a camera could steal part of your soul, but why there are no photographs nobody knows for sure. And I will never see your face, touch your hands or look into your eyes, but sure that I can see you in the faces that look like mine'. The guitar work is squeaky soulful perfect. Bourke continues with traditional guitar-porch blues in "I'm a Bad Man". Guitar lays down the dominant 1/4/5 acoustic guitar blues as Bourke warns, 'yeah i'm a bad man it's a good idea to leave my daughter's alone'. Bourke's voice throughout is raw and deep - with a rasp that bleeds experience and sincerity. The production of the album varies from raw guitar/vocal to that of a reverbed chamber performance in tracks like, "It's Just a Dream". The difference provides a contrast to the listener atop the consistent blues/guitar/vocal of each track. Bourke uses extended chords and a touch of jazz in "Let Him Feel Good" - another nice contrast to the rest of the CD. In "This Place is Hot" Bourke introduces us to harmonica and overdubbed guitar as he describes a stucco home that's 'hot but it's cool'. One of our favorite tracks on the CD is "Trying to be a Better Man" as Bourke winds through all the aspects of himself he's trying to improve or get rid of. Slide guitar is great and the blues is supported by shuffled drum kit. Solid collection of blues guitar love with vocals that penetrate and effectively communicate.

A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay Album CoverMy Mojo's Just Too Weak Album Cover
ROOTSME Review of "A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay" and "My Mojo's Just Too Weak" (Translation from Dutch)
Jook Bourke surprised us with his debut album "A Redhead from Chesapeake Bay" on which he revived acoustic blues.  With this debut he was received as a revelation, but he remained modest.  This album reminds me of "Keep it Simple" by Keb Mo, and is exactly what the title says, keep it simple, and Jook Bouke is at his best.  On the successor *My Mojo's Just Too Weak) the sound is somewhat more produced, although Jook Bourke with his beautiful and humorous voice was able to ensure that his music did not slide down to a lower level.

The new album "My Mojo's Just Too Weak" still mixes the blues with other styles (gospel, rock en country), but through it's sober approach became a real warm album.  The material is never forced, and the album has sometimes the feeling of a cross between Keb Mo and Little Feat.  Because of the lyrics, eleven numbers written by Bourke himself, "My Mojo's Just Too Weak" is the most personable album since his debut.  In this album he also performs all the vocals, in addition to playing his harmonica on some cuts, his guitar artistry and a self created drum construction.  Absolutely fantastic!  The level of all songs is high, but real outstanding ones are: "That Was It?", "I Must Be Gone" and "Stuck Being Me".
"My Mojo's Just Too Weak" is again an outstanding blues album, that you can play in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and also at night.  Not only does he have a spotless guitar technique but also a nice voice.  In a nutshell : With "My Mojo's Just Too Weak" Bourke chose a variety of styles, good acoustic blues tunes, absolutely an excellent blues album!