Singer/songwriter Dana Cooper has wowed audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe recently with tunes from his newest album, Made of Mud to be released in September 2005 on King Easy Records. Cooper's ingenious guitar work and gutsy harmonica continue to augment his passionate voice and insightful lyrics.This collection of eleven songs produced by Richard McLaurin features acclaimed Nashville talents Dave Jacques, Paul Griffith, Eric Fritsch, Steve Hermann and Vickie Hampton.
Out of the heartland of America, stomping grounds of Truman and Twain, Cooper was playing his music in Kansas City clubs by the age of 16. Leaving behind a college art scholarship Dana toured the country and landed in Los Angeles. In 1973, Elektra Records released his self-titled debut solo album featuring luminary players Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar and Jim Horn. Cooper later moved to Texas to join forces with long- time friend Shake Russell.Their collaborations produced five highly successful folk-rock albums, including one on MCA in 1981.The two became one of the most popular acts throughout Texas and the Southwest appearing together on Austin City Limits. Dana and Shake continue recording and performing together to this day.
Over the years Dana has released many independent solo albums including the critically acclaimed Miracle Mile on Compass Records.This album was nominated for a Nashville Music Award as "Best Pop Album" and was picked by Performing Songwriter Magazine as one of the top twelve DIY recordings for the year. Cooper's latest CD, Harry Truman Built a Road, was named one of the best records of 2002 by The Tennessean in Nashville and was again chosen as one of the top twelve DIY recordings for that year.
Recent tours of Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and Germany have gained Cooper exuberant support from audiences and radio as well as collaborations and friendships with many songwriters in these countries. Cooper has been named Best Songwriter in Houston, was nominated Best Male Vocalist by the Kerrville Music Foundation and nominated for their Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by top-notch artists Maura O'Connell, Jonell Mosser, Susan Werner, Jen Cohen, Christine Albert,Trout Fishing in America, Pierce Pettis, Johnsmith and Shake Russell.
Cooper’s new album crowns those accomplishments with a suite of songs that span the entirety of his career.The most recent, “Sit This One Out,” was finished during recording sessions last year; the earliest, “Step Into the Light,” was written with Russell in San Francisco three decades ago.“I wanted purposely to include some of these older songs,” says Cooper. “I thought they fit what I’m doing now. It’s funny how a song that old will still be so timely.” There is one unexpectedly timely tune on Made of Mud that Cooper didn’t write:Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd.” It’s the first cover version Cooper has ever included on an album, although he’s been performing it since his coffeehouse years in Missouri. “I thought some of the things that are going on now hearken back to the Depression, when there were outlaws in the country fighting against the banks and the big-money guys,” he explains. “I see the time we’re in now as similar to that time in a lot of ways.” Despite such disparate origins, the 11 tracks on Made of Mud bring a broad range of human experience into focus with clarity, coherence and concision.“There are songs about mortality and immortality, politics and religion and love, the struggle of living, and the possibilities of how much we can accomplish,” says Cooper. “It’s a journey through life, from song to song.”
Venues The Troubadour, Los Angeles CA McCabe’s, Santa Monica CA The Bluebird Café, Nashville TN Passim’s, Cambridge MA Cactus Café,Austin TX Anderson Fair, Houston TX The Birchmere, Alexandria VA Mucky Duck, Houston TX Living Room, New York NY Rosebud, Pittsburgh PA The Iron Horse, North Hampton MA Soda Club, Berlin Germany Swallow Hill, Denver CO Middle Earth Coffeehouse, GBradford VT Listening Room, Hastings NE Uncle Calvin’s, Dallas TX The Bitter End, New York NY Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs NY Paramount Theater,Austin TX Armadillo World Headquarters,Austin TX The Summit, Houston TX Green Room, Dublin, Ireland Club Junction, Copenhagen Denmark American Theater, St. Louis MO Memorial Hall, Kansas City KS Festivals and Fairs Napa Valley Music Festival, Napa CA Houston International Festival, Houston TX Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville TX Belfast Songwriters Festival MIDEM, Cannes, France South by Southwest, Austin TX Bele Chere Festival,Ashville NC Tin Pan South, Nashville TN High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy CA
Radio Appearances Mountain Stage, Charleston WV Live from Cactus Café,Austin TX The Songwriter Sessions, NPR Nashville TN The Tom May Show–River City Folk, Lincoln NE WUWF Radio Live, Pensacola FL
TV Appearances Austin City Limits, Austin TX Little Ole Show, Houston TX Songwriter Center Stage, Dallas TX Anderson Fair Presents, Houston TX Dana has shared the stage with Dan Bern Cowboy Junkies Iris DeMent Jonathon Edwards Melissa Ethridge Jimmy Dale Gilmore Nanci Griffith Leo Kottke Patty Larkin Christine Lavin Nils Lofgren Lyle Lovett Dave Mason Ian Matthews Neville Brothers Maura O’Connell Phil Ochs Ellis Paul Poco Jules Shear Jill Sobule Richard Thompson Townes van Zandt Loudon Wainwright Susan Werner Jesse Winchester
Discography Made of Mud, King Easy Records, 2005 Harry Truman Built a Road, Dog Eared Records, 2002 Miracle Mile, Compass Records, 1997 Roughly Speaking, 1994 Thrill of Love, 1993 Stone by Stone, 1992, re-released 2003 Complicated Stuff, 198p8, rereleased 1996 Shake Russell/Dana Cooper Band, MCA Records, 1981 Songs on the Radio, 1978 Cherry Records, 1978 Dana Cooper, 1973, Elektra Records
“One of the finest singer-songwriters in town, period..” –The Rage
“Cooper writes with depth and brilliance, reciting simple, poetic phrases with a warm reassuring tenor. An exceptional batch of acoustic folk songs... innovative, eclectic and unforgettable.” –Heather Johnson
Performing Songwriter ... an extraordinary writer and an eternally gripping performer.You need this music in your life.” –Robert K. Oermann, Music Row