Joe Fudge/Daily Press file Former “American Idol” star Joey chef has completed a “big girl album” and national tour. She will carry out two shows in your ar in February. (Joe Fudge/Daily Press)

together her "American Idol" days become a remote memory, Joey Cook"s unique vocal arrangements and also blue hair continue to draw the fist of crowds throughout the country — this time a little smaller.

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~ above a so late Saturday night during her most recent trip to the area, every seat was filled in ~ Stillwater Tavern in downtown Hampton, where chef performed with glitter on her cheeks and also ukulele in hand.


illustration smaller crowds might sound strange for someone who showed up on such a large show as "American Idol," however Cook claimed it is precisely what she wants currently that her fact singing competition days room over.


She is the an initial to recognize her "Idol" work were some of the finest experiences of she life, offering her nationwide exposure after currently having toured the country with Virginia indie tape Mammoth Indigo before auditioning.


She likewise admits miscellaneous was lacking once she to be eliminated, placing seventh on the show"s 2015 edition.


"After "Idol," the totality feeling was all well and also great, and then suddenly your life is a best-case scenario, and then the rug sort of gets ripped the end from under you. You"re type of alone in an sector that you simply learned about," cook said.


regardless of the advice and also coaching she received, chef said she had actually no idea exactly how to navigate the service side that the music market once she left.


currently she is tackling the discovering curve through her husband, Evan Higgins, who she married in November at the Neon Chapel in ras Vegas.


"It"s just been a learning procedure of the business aspect of it. I acquired the vocal training and musical training, along with the makeup and also costuming and every one of that stuff from the show, however they don"t really let girlfriend in on the business aspect of it. It"s yes, really been teaching ourselves as much as possible and how to carry out things ourselves," chef said.


after a few slip-ups v a manager she hired after "Idol" ended, cook was left on her own to number out just how to schedule a nationwide tour and also to do what she calls "a big girl album" for the an initial time.


"I want to make a record, yet I didn"t know how I was going to carry out it. I had actually just recently decided to acquire a manager, and also the human being who started managing me suggested doing one Indiegogo campaign and then us ran right into a bunch of problems with management," cook said. "It ended up being a best-case scenario due to the fact that we really quickly had actually to find out to work things the end on ours own and also learn the business."


Together, the pair successfully put together a nationwide tour, playing at little and mid-size venues nationally.


"We booked this entire tour together and figured the end the logistics. It"s been a share effort in between the 2 of us trying to book places and also get interview places," Higgins said. "We"re happy around it, and also it to be a great tour to it is in on. The all came from us, and it feels pretty great."


The turnout in ~ Stillwater Tavern is just one testament to Cook"s ongoing star strength in Hampton Roads.


She lived in Newport News for around a year in 2014 and developed a popular presence in the Peninsula"s music scene before joining "Idol."


"First record, done. An initial national tour, done," cook said. "I think it"s such a great reunion to come ago to Virginia ~ a tour."


chef has packed various other prevalent local venues, such as Cozzy"s Comedy Club and also Tavern, after being thrust into the nationwide spotlight, solidifying her as a local favorite.


People additionally can check out proof that the public"s admiration for chef on her website, whereby it reflects the results of her Indiegogo crowdfunding initiative that raised much more than $14,300 to aid her do her album.


to the excited of herself and also her fans, the "big girl album" is practically here, an ext than a decade after she wrote her an initial song at age 14.


The album, "Welcome to the selection Show," is easily accessible to currently on Spotify, Amazon Music and also Google beat Music as well as other streaming services, and also features her band The Partyraddlers, i m sorry toured v her.


Cook"s an initial single off the brand-new record, "Donnie"s World," was released to coincide with the Women"s march on Washington Saturday, the job after the inauguration.


"We to be in las Vegas for the election and the following day in Arizona and also shook by the results of it. We did what we do best and also sat down and also wrote a song," chef said. "The entire song is a testimony of sex-related harassment, really, and it"s simply a an extremely blatant testimony. It"s not political, really; it"s about rape culture."


in spite of the major tone that her new single and also management battles post-"Idol," Cook"s motto continues to be the optimistic saying: "Stay you. Remain weird. Continue to be positive."


Higgins has actually a many of good things to say about his wife, however he claims her strong and distinct personality, willingness to figure things the end independently and pure talent room what have made her so lovely by fans before and after her appearance top top the show.


"She"s unwavering in that she is — what you view is what you get, and she cares about other people. She"s ready to speak up. She likewise has a solid personality and also is certainly her from the moment you fulfill her. A lot of internal strength, and also she"s certainly funny," Higgins said.


Seen during her recent neighborhood appearance in ~ Stillwater Tavern, Cook"s signature blue hair shade is greatly fading, however she believes her music career is doing just the opposite.


She to plan on going ago to she signature bright blue hair quickly and likewise plans ~ above recording brand-new music once she finishes the critical lap of her tourism in Virginia and also moves in through her sound technician in new Orleans.


She will be back in Hampton roads with she guitar, accordion and ukulele for upcoming performances at legacy Brewery in Newport News ~ above Feb. 3 through her band the Partyraddlers (also known as Dharma Initiative) and also Feb. 12 in ~ The NorVa in Norfolk through Postmodern Jukebox.

See more: Watch Vanderpump Rules Season 7 Episode 6 Recap, Vanderpump Rules: Season 7 Episode 6


Natalie Joseph is a attributes reporter because that the everyday Press. She"s a 2016 graduate that Longwood University and also grew up in Yorktown.
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