Welcome to this week's #FeaturedFriday.
Meet Ross Cooper. He's an Americana artist so he's quite a bit different than the Bubblegum Country I am usually drawn to and typically end up covering. I had actually been approached by one of Ross' people about covering him quite a while ago, but with so many requests it's hard for me to get to everyone. It wasn't until a friend told me I HAD to listen to some of his stuff that I finally sat down and listened.
Let me tell you, his music is so smooth, so different from what I normally listen to that I was definitely glad I had finally gave in and listened. So I wanted to introduce him for this week's #FeaturedFriday, which is actually a good thing since he has a new album, Give It Time, coming out on March 18.
Produced by Jon Taylor and Cooper himself, Give It Time features eleven new tracks highlighting Cooper’s dynamic songwriting style and gritty, poignant sound. All the songs were written by Cooper with the exception of one, which he co-wrote with Jeremy Drinkwine.
“I think my approach to this album is different from projects that I've worked before because I've lived more,” Cooper says, “and I hope listeners can tell that my writing has changed because of it. I finished tracking this album right before I moved to Nashville, so in a way it represents a huge life change.”
I definitely suggest that you head over and take a listen as I'm positive you'll be a fan if you do. You can listen to all of Give it Time HERE.
Now here are a few questions to help you get acquainted with Ross Cooper.
Introduce yourself – where are you from, when did you first start performing, who got you started, etc.
I’m from Lubbock, TX. My mom got me started in music. She plays piano, so I took piano lessons. When I was probably 11, I decided I didn’t want to play piano anymore. I wanted to play guitar. So, I got a guitar and started learning chords and progressions and then started writing songs. I started performing when I was probably 14 or 15 years old. Two buddies and I started this band and we started playing some songs I’d been working on. Every Sunday night at an open jam at a blues bar in Lubbock is when and where it started. Our parents had to go with us of course, but they were all supportive from the get-go.
Who has been your biggest musical influence?
Even though I have a lot, Ryan Adams tops my list….Talk about a guy who knows how to put mood into a song. That, to me, is the coolest thing. When I hear songs, I want to feel something from them.
What’s the weirdest song on your iPod currently?
U.F.O. by Jim Sullivan. He was an old Folk Rock guy. Honestly if you haven’t heard it, check it out. It’s so weird and cool. He wrote this concept album about getting abducted by U.F.O.s, then disappeared somewhere in New Mexico a few years later.
Describe your music in three words.
What goals do you have for the future?
As cheesy and simple as it sounds, truthfully I just want to write good songs. I want to keep growing as a writer. Aside from that, I want to stay on the road more and keep making records.
If you could tour with anyone who would it be?
Ryan Adams OR The Jayhawks if they were gigging again.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can turn my feet around backwards. Seriously, almost all the way backwards. Not really sure if that’s a talent…
Do you write music or just sing?
I write and sing. I think I sing because I write. I love to sing, but I couldn’t go without writing.
Who would be your dream duet?
Brandi Carlile would be awesome.
What is one question you’d like to answer that’s not usually asked in interviews?
Well I had a pretty interesting history growing up. I haven’t always just played music. I come from a rodeo family. It’s how my parents met. I rodeo’d through junior high, high school, and college and was a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) Bareback Bronc rider up until a couple of years ago. My brother was a Saddle Bronc rider too. All the while, I was writing and playing music too. It was all music and rodeo.
Are you signed to a label and can fans purchase your music?
I’m not signed to a label. Fans can purchase my upcoming album, Give It Time on iTunes on March 18th, but you can preorder on March 1st. My EP, Headcase, is also on iTunes. Other than that, you can pick up the albums at shows or you can find them on pretty much all of the online stores.
Tell fans where they can find you – Twitter, Facebook, website, etc.