ROBBIE COOPER
Gig Seeker Pro

ROBBIE COOPER

Band Pop Adult Contemporary

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Robbie Cooper, The Way Rock Should Be"

Robbie Cooper - The Way Rock Should Be

By: Ben Ohmart (Assistant Editor)
2004-04-01



You know Robbie Cooper. Not just from his days on A&M Records when he was writing and singing with the band 7 Minutes (in which he recorded with the session players Muscle Shoals, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama). But vocally, he'll remind you of Phil Collins (that way of always having a distorting source between voice and the microphone), and vocally And musically, there are definite traces of Peter Gabriel here. Which explains why he was a founding member of Over the Garden Wall, a Genesis- tribute band in Toronto which had long-term success with that progressive rock sound.

Cooper is of that rare breed that likes layering music and using electronic personalities to make every song worthy of 50 listens. And every time, you will find something new and news worthy.

His new CD is Drowning in Reality, which focuses on a grassroots rock basis and a pop feel for catchy melodies, with thick condiments of multi-rhythms and electric 'Sledgehammer'-type sounds that are often hard to grasp. You THINK there are extra mixes and non-human-made elements to the music, but finding them in the puzzle is more difficult.

A good example of this is 'Kicked Inside,' like industrial pop without all the machinery. Then there's the very surf-moving 'Solitary Man,' which has to be one of the easiest songs to remember (haven't we all heard this one on the radio before?). 'Calling on Me' sounds like REM going back to the early 70s, with strings, a horn section and a clever acoustic guitar solo on top of everything else. FM friendly? More than friendly. They should get married and share the tax break.

Part of the reason for the success of this eclectic selection is the amount of true professionals standing in line to help: Tony Levin on the Chaphman Stick (known for his studio work with Peter Gabriel and his live playing with Seal), producer Steve Burgh on guitar, bass, and keys (you know his work on Billy Joel's The Stranger), drummer Eric Parker (Joe Cocker, Faith Hill, Warren Zevon), and others.

The title Drowning in Reality is first visualized by the impressive CD cover concept: Robbie standing in front of a less-than-perfect brick wall on which is painted billowing clouds and great expanses of blue skies. It's hard to imagine that the clouds were added to this abandoned building on computer by photographer Bret McConnell, but therein begins the Reality.

So how long did it all take to shape? "The songs just kept coming," admitted Robbie. "I had the producer sort through my tunes and he picked the ones that he wanted to record. I was real surprised when Steve wanted to use my 12-track home studio recordings, along with the live players. Because after all, I played the parts on keys and programmed the rhythms. The actual studio time was about 3 months.

"'Walk on Water' was added after we thought we were finished recording. Paul McCartney would not give me permission to use his sample in the tune 'Awake All Night,' so I had to write my own chorus. I wasn't as charmed by it as the McCartney version. I decided to add a tune that I just finished called 'Walk on Water,' one of my favorites."

Obviously, there is more Genesis here than McCartney. The man just loves the sound. "Great arrangements, players, and great vocals. I write these 4-minute tunes that are basically pretty common when it comes to time signatures, as well as the arrangements. I can't even imagine how these guys gave birth to such unique songs that feature odd timings and great imaginary stories."

Drowning in Reality has just as much punch as that classic prog rock band. After all, there are some classy players floating through here. "The producer picked them all, though I wanted Tony Levin. I was told by Steve Burgh that the players he was hiring were the best. To me, if you can do the job, you're okay for me. I don't believe in 'the best.' Anyway, we were sitting around recording and I said, 'I would love to have Tony Levin play on this track.' Steve said that he saw him yesterday in Walmart shopping with his wife. We were recording at Nevesa Studio in Woodstock where Tony just so happens to live and, well, you can guess the rest"

Robbie admits that a lot of people know who Over the Garden Wall are, but not Robbie Cooper. Much of this is due to the fact that though the CD has been for sale at shows, it's an undiscovered master. The sort you'd find in a bigwig producer's vault someday - the kind that Needs to be played. But with the help of the internet, the music is being heard, and the feedback is more than positive.

He's currently touring in New York State and Cleveland, playing his 3 CDs-worth of original material. Okay all you fans expecting a full night of Genesis: get ready to listen to RC and hear some amazing new tunes. Phil Collins himself might be the first to admit that it's every bit as interesting and entertaining.

"I feel that it's my time, place and circumstance," says Robbie, "and I'm glad I get to do something I love: write songs & play them live."

More on Robbie Cooper
* Genre: Progressive Rock
* Hometown: Toronto
* Website: www.robbiecooper.net
* Buy "Drowning in Reality" CD
* Contact Robbie Cooper


- Music Dish (Ben Ohmart)


Discography

Drowning in Reality
The Hard Way
Songs of Serenity (relax unwind and meditate)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

A little about Robbie Cooper...
Robbie played his first gig at Larry's Hideaway in downtown Toronto when he was only 15 years old. He was signed to A&M records with the band 7 Minutes for one LP and later formed the band Thurman Fry which was chosen to receive the first ever "Discovery to Disk Talent Search" awarded by Toronto radio station CFNY FM. The band was honored to also win recording sessions with Muscle Shoals, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Thurman Fry's popularity, financial success and newly inflated egos eventually took it's toll and the band split up, which ultimately led Robbie down a different path of musical expression.

In 1985, Robbie Cooper started performing covers of the music he loved, the music of early Genesis. As a founding member of the very popular Toronto based Genesis tribute band, Over the Garden Wall, Robbie Cooper helped pave the way for other Genesis cover bands to follow. After 10 very successful years with Over the Garden Wall, Robbie relocated to Utica, New York and formed the Genesis tribute band Seconds Out. Cooper remains front-man of this band, that still tours for it's loyal following in the New York state area and Cleveland, Ohio. In the classic style of early Genesis live performances, Robbie uses elaborate costumes, stage make-up and assorted props, creating a multi-media event and delighting audiences with his strong and solid vocals that hold an uncanny likeness to Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.

Robbie Cooper writes and performs original music that is heavily influenced by the progressive rock styles of the 70's. He has released three CDs as a solo artist, year to date -- all have received airplay on several radio stations in Canada, Europe, Poland and the Netherlands.

On his latest CD, "Drowning in Reality" Cooper utilizes world class musicians and legends like bass player, Tony Levin, on the Chapman Stick, known for his studio work with Peter Gabriel and his live playing with Seal; Producer Steve Burgh on guitar, bass, and keys, known for his work on Billy Joel's "The Stranger" LP, as well as his work with Willie Nelson and Phoebe Snow. Live horns, contributed by the Uptown Horns, (known for their work with the Rolling Stones), and live strings thicken this already jam-packed, star-studded CD. Lets not leave out drummer Eric Parker (Joe Cocker, Faith Hill, Warren Zevon), who makes this already rock-steady foundation a wonderful backdrop to Cooper's pleasant sounding melodic vocal style. As Cooper explains, "the creative process, working with such giants in the music industry, was an experience I'll never forget. I am very excited to take some of my new material and showcase it for the public. We will also be adding a few original tracks to our Seconds Out (Genesis Tribute Band) show. I can't wait to perform them in a live setting."

"Cooper is of that rare breed that likes layering music and using electronic personalities to make every song worthy of 50 listens."
- Ben Ohmart, Music Dish Magazine

Check out www.robbiecooper.net for more info on the new CD and tour info.

_________________________________________________________________