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Dana Cooper


Experience and skill, nothing quite like them. Dana's been one of Nashville's most respected songwriters for quite a long time, and rightly so. His tunes often have the ring of classic works, he's been firing and polishing songs a lifetime, and it shows consistently. If you don't think there's much to strumming a guitar, you got to see Dana Cooper do it. It's something like a drummer doing a roll with one hand. He's also a fine fingerstyle player, and a superior harmonicat, not from the Bob Dylan school of mouth harp.

Some might call his countenance Mephistophelian, in fact our Alabama bard Tom Kimmel has a badass poem on his live record Bones called "More Like The Devil Than Dana Cooper." I guess he is a little on the dark side (bless his heart), but his music has a lot to do with hope, with redemption, and honoring the human spirit.

Dana's toured the country stem to stern for decades, and has a hell of a following in Texas, solo and with his longtime cohort Shake Russell. I saw them play together at the Kerrville Folk Festival this summer, but the duo's a little too happy for me. The genius of Dana Cooper runs deeper than that, way deeper.

I sure like the production job that Richard McLaurin and Mack Linebaugh did at Monkeyfinger Studios in Nashville, Richard also engineered. They make some good woody records out there, and get some spit on the ball. I was simply amazed by the way the magical Henry Brothers turned out the beautiful "You Will Be All Right." I hear they showed up with two versions of the same plaid shirt, a cello and a violin. They listened to the tune, completed a few of each other's sentences, cut a handful of tracks and split before those present could get their jaws off the ground.

Dana's lovely wife Linda Marks cowrote several of the songs as well as codesigned the CD art and did the cover painting. Among the many great songs on the disc is his classic penned for Townes, "Bony Man." We dig this record a lot, and suggest you purchase it here. • FG

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