The Cooper Brothers
After a 20 year hiatus, the COOPER BROTHERS are back…
Canada’s premiere country-rock band from the seventies through to the mid 80′s, the Cooper Brothers first gained international attention when they signed a major recording contract with Capricorn Records (famous for several of the most popular southern-rock acts of the time including: The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Delbert McClinton and Elvin Bishop). The Cooper Brothers, Brian and Richard, released two albums under the Capricorn label, the self-titled, Cooper Brothers and Pitfalls of the Ballroom. Both albums sold extremely well and the singles “The Dream Never Dies”, “Rock and Roll Cowboys” “Show Some Emotion” and “I’ll Know Her When I See Her” all charted on The Billboard Hot 100.
Among their many critical accolades, the Cooper Brothers were voted Best New Group in 1978, Best MOR Group in 1979 and Best Overall Group in 1980 by Canadian Contemporary Music Programmers. In 1980, “The Dream Never Dies” also earned an A.S.C.A.P Award as one of the most performed songs on U.S radio. At the height of their career, the band toured throughout North America, sharing the stage with such artists as: The Doobie Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas, Joe Cocker, Charlie Daniels, Atlanta Rhythm Section, McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, AC/DC and Seals and Crofts. In addition, the band worked with some of the most prolific musicians of the day including Chuck Leavell – keyboardist for The Rolling Stones – who played on a popular Cooper Brothers’ track “Riding High.” After Capricorn Records folded, the brothers released two more albums before disbanding in the mid eighties.
In October 2006, The Best of the Cooper Brothers was released by the EMI/ Pacemaker label and the band performed for the first time on stage in over twenty years. This led to a number of sold-out live dates throughout Southern Ontario including a memorable Ottawa Bluesfest concert, opening up for James Taylor in front of 25 thousand people. The experience also sparked Richard’s muse again and he began writing songs. Before long the brothers had enough for a new album and approached respected musician/producer and old friend, Colin Linden.
“When I heard the songs, I thought they sounded timeless. They were brimming with ideas. They weren’t trivial and they were musically and lyrically so well thought out…” Colin Linden.
In September 2009 with Colin at the helm, the brothers went to Masterlink Studio in Nashville (Where Neil Young recorded Desert Moon) to begin recording with an amazing line-up of session musicians including Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Jakob Dylan, Dixie Chicks) Dan Dugmore (Linda Rostadt, James Taylor) Kevin McKendree (Brian Seltzer, Lee Roy Parnell) Lynn Williams(John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton) and Steve Mackey (Trisha Yearwood) After additional recording back in Ottawa and Toronto the CD was mixed in L.A. by John Whynot who has produced such artists as Colin James, Bruce Cockburn and Lucinda Williams. In February 2010 the new Cooper Brothers album entitled “IN FROM THE COLD” was released, featuring 12 brand new songs. The new CD also featured a number of guest artists including Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and – coming full circle perhaps – Capricorn alumni - Delbert McClinton, and Chuck Leavell.
This past year, the brothers began work on a new CD at the Tragically Hip’s studio in Kingston with producer Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo) at the helm. Entitled Southbound, the CD is due for an April 2013 launch.