Dana Cooper (Part 1)
Beyond a Song host Rich Reardin interviews Nashville singer/songwriter Dana Cooper. Cooper’s lifelong passion & devotion to music began at age 2 in Kansas City. His father, George, was a huge influence. One of Dana’s earliest memories is of his father taking him to the Calico Cat, popping a coin in the jukebox and listening to Dana sing along with Hank Williams & Ernest Tubb.
At age 20 a move to LA resulted in a record deal with Elektra Records where he recorded his first album with members of “The Section” Russ Kunkel and Leleand Sklar, as well as other luminary players Jim Horn, Al Perkins, Jim Gordon, Joe Osborne, and Lee Holdridge. This album still wins accolades today and was recently reissued on the Warner/Japan label.
After several years in California and a year recording in Seattle, Cooper moved to Texas where he wrote and performed with Shake Russell. They released several independent albums and one album for Southcoast/MCA.
Dana formed his own experimental bands, DC3, and Nuclear Family and released his first solo project Complicated Stuff. In 1988 he moved to Nashville, TN to pursue his songwriting career collaborating with other songwriters:
Tom Kimmel Sally Barris
Don Henry Pat Alger
Hal Ketchum Kim Carnes
Josh Leo Pierce Pettis
Kim Richey Allen Shamblin
His years as a Troubadour is measured by his impressive 28 Albums and Collection of Accolades:
• In the Spirit of Folk Award from Folk Alliance International (2015)
• Heritage Musician Award from The Pilgrim Center for the Arts in Kansas City,
• Veteran Recurring Performer at Kerrville Folk Festival
• Best Male Songwriter Award Indie Acoustic Project, for Made of Mud (2005).
• Best Record Award The Tennesseean, for Harry Truman Built a Road (2002)
• Nashville Music Award Nomination Best Pop Album for Miracle Mile (1997)
Cooper’s songs have been recorded by a variety of artists such as bluegrass singer Claire Lynch, Irish vocalist Maura O’Connell, Nashville songbird Jonell Mosser, as well as songwriters Pierce Pettis and Susan Werner. His incredible catalogue and musical sensibilities have led to endorsements from AirPlay Direct and Elixir Strings.
With his upcoming CD I Can Face the Truth Cooper faces hard truths head on with humor and heartfelt expression. Joining forces with Co-Producer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Coleman the two enlisted some of the best songwriters, singers, and musicians from the US and Ireland. Collaborators in the studio include Tom Kimmel, Kim Richey, Jonell Mosser, Maura O’Connell, Brother Paul Brown, David Starr, Rebecca Folsom, and Gillian Tuite. Expect I Can Face the Truth to be Released Early 2022 with an expansive CD Release Tour to follow.