Opening Day

It’s a big week for Peter Cooper, the athletically built, Grammy-nominated Red Beet Records recording artist, award-winning journalist, soft-hearted educator and doting father who is definitely not hiding behind a third-person narrative right now.

Peter’s Opening Day, which many drop-jawed critics are calling “The best album since Beethoven,” will be released Tuesday, Sept. 10. It is Cooper’s finest work, and it includes brilliant steel guitar work from pedal steel guitar Hall of Famer Lloyd Green as well as contributions from genius-level cohorts including Jen Gunderman, Julie Lee, Kieran Kane, Richard Bennett and the talented-though-bald Eric Brace.

Album release not enough for you? Well, we’ve got events: Live shows and radio spectaculars.
  • Saturday, Sept. 7, “Peter Cooper’s Music City” special airs on Sirius XM’s “Outlaw Country” channel, from 4-6 p.m. Eastern and again Sunday from 8-10 p.m. Eastern. Peter will debut tracks from “Opening Day” as well as spinning Nashville-affiliated tunes from Todd Snider, Guy Clark, Dobie Gray, Bobby Hebb, Delbert McClinton, Bobby Bare, Keb’ Mo’ and many others. In the show’s second hour, Snider and Jonas Stein of Turbo Fruits will talk with handsome protagonist Cooper about the rollicking City of Song that is Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, Peter will be joined by an all-star bluegrass band that includes Sierra Hull, Mark Fain, Justin Moses and Thomm Jutz for a performance on Music City Roots. This show will be streamed at 8 p.m. Eastern via www.musiccityroots.com.
  • Friday, Sept. 13, Peter appears on the greatest country station of them all, 650 AM-WSM, with morning team Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos. Peter will be on beginning at 9 a.m. Central. Those not in Nashville can hear via www.wsmonline.com.
  • Friday Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. Central time, Peter and an all-star non-bluegrass band plays Nashville’s famed Station Inn. Andrea Zonn (James Taylor, Vince Gill), Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier), Tim Carroll (Elizabeth Cook and his own damn fame), Dave Roe (Johnny Freakin’ Cash, John Cougar Mellencamp), Pat McInerney (Nanci Griffith, Seldom Scene, Emmylou Harris) and Eric Brace (bald) will join Peter for an album-release show. Tickets available at the door.
  • Saturday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern, Peter is joined by Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz for a CD release show at Ashland Coffee and Tea in Ashland, Va. www.ashlandcoffeeandtea.com.
  • Sunday, Sept. 15, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper play Focus Concerts in Alexandria, Va., with accompaniment by the wondrous ex-German Thomm Jutz. Concert time is 7 p.m. Eastern. Go to www.focusmusic.org for more information about this show, which will feature super-fine opening act Medium Gauge.
This is pretty much the most important week of Peter’s life, so no worries if you can’t be bothered to pay attention.

“Peter Cooper looks at the world with an artist’s eye and a human heart and soul. His songs are the works of an original, creative imagination, alive with humor and heartbreak and irony and intelligence, with truth and beauty in the details. Deep stuff. And they get better every time you listen.” -- Kris Kristofferson *

* Yeah, but what does Kristofferson know?

The Comeback Album

“Hey, I never went away,” is what a lot of artists say when accused of making a “comeback album.”

Not Eric Brace & Peter Cooper. After releasing two duo albums that drew praise from a bevy of critics and colleagues, Brace and Cooper went away. They wandered across the U.S. and Europe to headline shows and to tour with luminaries including John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Todd Snider. And they took a harrowing trip into the world of children’s music, earning a Grammy nomination (“nomination” is code for “they lost”) for producing I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, a star-packed album that featured Hall, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Bobby Bare, Duane Eddy, Jim Lauderdale, and many more.

Now, three years after their last adult-oriented (but not in an R-rated kind of way) release, Brace & Cooper return with The Comeback Album, a sparkling set that marries nine self-penned compositions with gems from Tom T. Hall, Karl Straub, and David Halley.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Duane Eddy and Bluegrass Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman join Brace, Cooper, and country music torchbearer Marty Stuart for a revival of Hall’s “Mad,” and a band of players including Richard Bennett, Jen Gunderman, Rory Hoffman, Paul Griffith, David Jacques, Fats Kaplin, multi-instrumentalist/engineer Thomm Jutz and legendary steel guitarist Lloyd Green (the Byrds, Paul McCartney, Don Williams, etc.) provide the bed for Brace & Cooper’s splendid harmonies and deft storytelling.

The Comeback Album features scenes from a Johnson City jail, a Spartanburg slum, and the back ends of a few busted love affairs. It’s populated by fools, sages, tattooed sailors, victims and perpetrators, and for listeners, it’s a chance to come back and hear one of Americana music’s most intriguing and inventive acts.

Order The Comeback Album via the Red Beet Records website by clicking here.

ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2012

Peter will appear on national television November 10, performing with Tom T. Hall and Lee Ann Womack on Austin City Limits Presents: Americana Music Festival 2012.
Recorded September 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the show features Bonnie Raitt, Booker T. Jones, Guy Clark, John Hiatt, Alabama Shakes, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Richard Thompson and many more.

Peter played guitar on a live version of "I Love," the title song from the Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow album.

For more, visit the Americana Music Festival 2012 website.

"I Love" Nominated for Song of the Year

Peter co-produced and played guitar on Patty Griffin's version of Tom T. Hall's "I Love," a song that is nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Music Association Honors & Awards.

"I Love" is the lead track of I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow, the Grammy nominated Red Beet Records release. The song was a #1 country hit for Tom T. Hall in 1973. Now, 39 years later, Griffin's version is introducing "I Love" to new generations.

"Tom T. says he wrote "I Love" in five minutes, and recorded it in about four," Peter says. "That's nine minutes of work for a song that has thrilled millions. When Faron Young first heard that song, he was shocked that the guy who had written so many tough ballads about barrooms and graveyards was singing, 'I love little baby ducks.' In fact, Faron confronted Tom T. in the Nashville airport one day, saying, 'Little baby ducks? Have you lost your mind?' Tom T. just said, 'Hey, must be a hit.' I think he wrote that the same way he wrote most all of his songs: By writing the unfiltered version of what was on his mind. He really does love little baby ducks. So do I.

"When we recorded 'I Love,' I was playing guitar a few feet away from where Patty was singing," Peter continues. "And I had a great view through the glass of Tom T., sitting on a chair in the control room. He told Patty, 'If you forget any words, just make them up. That's what I did.' She didn't forget any words, she just opened her mouth and warmth and truth poured out. She sang it once, then said she figured she should sing it again. Co-producer Eric Brace and I agree, not 'cause there was anything wrong with what she did but because we wanted to hear her sing some more! What you hear on the record is exactly what happened on that second take. No tuning, no overdubs, just Patty and a spectacular band: Lloyd Green on steel guitar, Mike Bub on bass, Mark Horn on drums and me impersonating an acoustic guitar player. If you listen close, you might hear the tear that was in Tom T.'s eye as he heard Patty singing his words and melody."

To hear Patty Griffin's version of "I Love," visit www.songsoffoxhollow.com or www.redbeetrecords.com.

The Americana Music Association's Honors & Awards show will be held Sept. 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Opening Day

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