MUSIC

                       

The Conjurer

by Dana Cooper

Released 2010
Dog Eared Records
Released 2010
Dog Eared Records
"The Conjurer" offers hints of reggae, blues, folk, rock, and adult pop -- all woven around a positive, humanistic theme. It’s raw and organic yet doesn’t sacrifice anything as far as sonic quality, displaying Cooper's distinctive voice and guitar.
NOTES
Dana Cooper has customarily named his albums after song titles. The Conjurer departs from that tradition, with a compelling addition to the veteran singer-songwriter’s canon. With its inventive blend of acoustic rock, blues, folk, adult-contemporary pop and even a hint of reggae, this new collection demonstrates that Dana is still pushing forward as a recording artist and songwriter: trying new things, working with new collaborators, and letting his sound evolve.

"The idea of a conjurer, of someone who pulls something out of the air, makes me laugh,” says Dana Cooper. “It definitely describes how I see myself as a songwriter and performer. There’s a mystery and magic in songwriting. You have to keep believing you can pull the next idea out of a hat. In another way, someone who performs for the public has to be a conjurer, too. You have to be able to stand there and believe you can dazzle people with your next trick.”

But here’s where the metaphor ends: Cooper’s new set of songs prove once again that there’s no sleight of hand involved in crafting and presenting music this powerful. The seasoned singer-songwriter has grown into a master craftsman where every word has a purpose, every chord has a reason.

What’s remarkable about The Conjurer is how confident and nervy Cooper sounds interpreting his own material. Like any great artist, he has responded to his times, penning uplifting songs about perseverance and finding the positive in life in an of era of endlessly shifting landscapes. The Conjurer delivers a positive, humanistic theme in a collection that is raw and organic yet sacrifices nothing in the way of sonic quality, providing an ample platform Cooper's distinctive voice and guitar.

The title was inspired when the album’s art director, Jeff Thorneycroft, envisioned a CD cover designed to look like an old magician’s poster. The idea resonated with Cooper who, after more than three decades on the road, recognizes that stepping on stage in front of a different audience night after night takes no small amount of trickery.

“I’ve always considered myself an outsider as far as the music industry goes,” Dana Cooper says. “I focused on a grassroots career by making albums I liked and that I took to people by playing live. Now that’s what everyone says is the new music model, that you build a sustaining career by playing live and sticking to your own vision. If that’s the case, then I figure I’m ahead of the game, because I’ve been doing it that way for more than 30 years.”