Copper Chief

Roots Country Rock'n'Roll

“Copper Chief” ALBUM REVIEW

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by Carey Dean: 106.9 The Ranch - Corsicana, TX

PD and The Get Up Co-Host and Ranch Roadhouse LIVE Host

The Texas Music scene has always been like the landscape from which it

originates, diverse and varied in colors, shapes, and attitudes all coming together

to create a whole. Having said that, you see very few that can successfully pull

together that diversity, pile it into one van to set up on one stage, and lay it out for

their fans or soon-to-be fans like these cats can. Cooper Chief is a Texas Music

phenom. They have taken their cues from the landscape of this fine state and

beyond to create one of the most creative sounds I have heard in quite a while.

As I hit play on the first track, “Lonely Restless Heart”, I knew I was in for

something special. Who starts an album with 30 seconds that puts you in a

smoked filled arena with noise building to the start of a show? As the lights on

this band’s show come up you better run as fast as you can or fill your tired sails

and move again. You learn in the first track that this is no ordinary listening

experience. Cooper Chief is Latin for WATCH THIS.

Many bands struggle to find their identity only to find themselves riding a one

trick pony for most of their careers, but I can tell you now, Copper Chief knows

exactly who they are and they never flinch. They wear their influences and

inspirations like medals on their chest for all to see. They use these influences and

inspirations like a chef uses spices to create masterpieces. You will weaken

yourself trying to figure this one out but you will know that this band has been

listening to and hearing great musicians and artists for a very long time. In other

words, they have purchased the right spices.

I found myself digging track after track hoping that each track would last longer

yet being anxious to hear the next. The styles displayed here are what makes this

work interesting. I was hearing keys wash the background in tones that Deep

Purple and Boston used so well but at the same time I was hearing Soul Asylum,

Zeppelin, Drive By Truckers, and a hint of Beatles (in melodies and production),

and an in an instrumental I even heard Eddie Van Townsend. Stylistically, I heard a

power ballad in “Jericho” and swampy juke joint bluegrass in “Muddy Water”. I

heard the love child of “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” and “Born to be Wild”

in “ Knees”, and I heard what Soul Asylum would sound like if all they listened to

was the harder side of The Drive By Truckers in “Body Aches”. A fiddle and steel

waltz is the game in the tasty “Hill Country Fog”. “After After All” is a Hill

Country Johnny and June tune if there would have ever been one. “Either Way” is

as Beatles as you can get and still keep a hat on, and “Shape I’m In” is classic Jason

and the Scorchers garage country all the way. “Roll On”, Snakeskin Boots” and the

blistering “Down to the River” are proof that real Rock and Roll is still alive in the

world. “Faster Than the Flame” is a clever spaghetti western set in a swamp.

I had not really planned to write about nearly every track on this project but

damn, I really had no choice. Copper Chief left me no choice. This is not work that

can be taken in parts and pieces. It begs to be consumed as a whole and by God

you really have to accept that.

Copper Chief comes at a time when music fans are waiting to take that next

step. That next step that gets us a little further down the road on our musical

journey. That step that moves us forward in our experience. Copper Chief moves

us forward while the whole time giving us a glance over our shoulder at the great

sounds and styles we have enjoyed this far. I guess I could wrap this up by saying

Copper Chief has created a great future for themselves and us as music fans by

helping us to remember our past and what we have enjoyed about it, GREAT