Dana Cooper Builds A Secret Weapon With ‘I Can Face The Truth’

Singer/songwriter and Americana artist Dana Cooper has released new album I Can Face The Truth taking “hard truths head on” with a dose of humor. Joining forces with Co-Producer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Coleman, the two enlisted a wide swath of talent from the US and Ireland.

Collaborators include Tom Kimmel, Kim Richey, Jonell Mosser, Maura O’Connell, Brother Paul Brown, David Starr, Rebecca Folsom, Elva Jones-Hahn, Tim Lorsch, Gillian Tuite and Joseph Murray. Alongside the album, Cooper has also released a video for the second single on the album, “Bluebird”.

Here is what Dana Cooper has to say about the album and how it came about: 

On an Indian summer evening in October, 2019 I attended a concert at the Five Spot in East Nashville to hear my friend Jeff Thorneycroft play a set of original tunes backed by a rocking band that included Dave Coleman on electric guitar. Dave and I had met years before when he was an intern and I was on the roster of Compass Records. On the several occasions that I’d heard Dave play with other artists as well as his own band, The Coal Men, I was profoundly impressed with his musicality, diversity and tastefulness. 

That night at the Five Spot I made a point of reintroducing myself and telling him how much I appreciated his artistry. He was friendly and gracious mentioning our meeting years before. He shared his enthusiasm for my work and invited me to visit his Howard’s Apartment Studio. He even offered to record a song just so I might consider recording an entire project with him. At the time I had only vaguely considered what my next project would be.

I did have a brand new song called “I Can Face the Truth” so I phoned Dave a couple of days later and we set a date of October 17. After Dave shared some tracks he’d recorded with several of my favorite Nashville artists I was even more impressed with him. Right away we laid down an acoustic guitar and vocal with a click track. Then Dave added drums and bass guitar. Then he handed me an electric 12 string Mando Guitar and told me to have some fun. So, I did. Once he added an organ part I asked about the enormous brightly painted Drum and Bugle Corps bass drum standing in the corner. Dave grabbed a mallet and recorded the throbbing pulse that became the heartbeat of the song.

And so we began building our secret weapon. We brought in a solid rhythm section of Chris Benelli on drums and Paul Slivka on bass. The four of us cut a few tracks before being interrupted by the Pandemic. I continued to write songs specifically for the album and as soon as we thought it safe the two of us began recording again, masked and in separate rooms. Several of my friends contributed their talents long distance. Co-writers Elva Jones Hahn, Rebecca Folsom and David Starr sent in their vocal tracks from different parts of Colorado. Gillian Tuite and Joseph Murray sent theirs from Ireland. 

Once everyone was vaccinated we brought Chris and Paul back for a few more songs. Maura O’Connell and Jonell Mosser joined us in person singing behind a closed door. Brother Paul Brown, of the Waterboys, recorded Hammond B3 on “Bluebird” in his home studio just down the street. My co-writer on that song, Tom Kimmel, sang his part at home in Alabama. Tim Lorsch worked closely with me on arranging and playing some lovely string parts. Dave encouraged me to play electric guitar again and I had a blast with my Telecaster and Rickenbacker 12 string. The Pandemic afforded us the unusual luxury of time to build each track, experimenting with different instruments and vocal arrangements.

In all my years of recording I’ve never felt more free or creative in the studio. There is a joyful energy that runs through every song on the album and I’m excited for people to hear it. It’s been a long time coming but, for me, it’s worth the wait.

%d bloggers like this: