There is enough evidence to support the calming effects of the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the beach floor. The same is true for LA-based country singer and surfer Jordan Hook, 1/2 of the duo Baxter Elkins. His love for the ocean waves started early on, about the same time as he fell in love with sound waves in the form of music.
The frequent trip to the beach in Texas to surf with comrades started a passion he carried through when he moved to Los Angeles California. "I surfed almost every day for years and got good very quickly," Jordan recalls. "I've been lucky enough to travel around the world and surf some amazing waves," he adds. Although the idea of becoming a pro never crossed his mind, the reason would be rational - his greater passion for music.
When did you start realizing you have a knack for music?
I started playing guitar about 15 years ago, but I didn't decide to make it a career until about 5 years ago. My buddy Brian inspired me. We would always play music after surfing at Malibu together. He kept saying "Did you finish that song you were writing? Did you finish that verse and chorus?" And it [really] made me a better writer.
I surfed almost every day
Tell us about your duo. What's the story behind it? How did the name and group come about?
Joe and I met when we were both playing in a bluegrass/rock band last year. We got along really well and we started our own original group 'Baxter Elkins' at the beginning of this year. Baxter is my grandmother's maiden name (before she married my Grandpa Hook) and Elkins is Joe's grandmother's maiden name, so we put the two together to make our band name. We have released several music videos and are recording our first EP now!
Do you consider surfing as a means to get away from the noise?
The great thing about not surfing as a job is that it is a pleasure always, a getaway. Music sometimes feels like work, like there are things you have to do to be successful that aren't always fun but you do them because you have to. But surfing is always fun for me because I don't think about anything when I'm on the water, I sing to myself and enjoy the ocean.
What's the biggest goal/dream in your music endeavor?
The Greek Theater in Los Angeles is one of my favorite venues, I would love to headline there someday.
What's the core message of your songs?
I don't think they have messages, I just tell stories about my life and hope people enjoy them!
I just tell stories about my life
Your latest single, what's it about?
Well, our latest release was actually a very old Civil War song that we re-made called 'Cumberland Gap.' It's about a man in the war thinking about the things he wants to do when he gets home, but home has changed while he is gone. It was written over 100 years ago but it is the same now, still fighting wars.
We have a new single called 'Echo Park Waltz' that will be out on our first full-length album (the music video will be coming out in the next 1-2 weeks) and it is about our neighborhood, Echo Park, during the pandemic and how it was so empty and strange.
If Jordan's life was a transcendental chorus, that catchy hook would go along the lines of 'riding the big waves of sounds and splashes.' The musical ripples he has started will soon cause a sonic tidal wave the world has yet to dash with.Follow Jordan and Baxter Elkins: