Highly literate lyrics are set to energetic folk-rock arrangements by Nashville-based Dana Cooper. Recording with Shake Russell in the late 1970s and with his own rock band, Dana Cooper's DC3, in the 1980s, Cooper has returned to the intimate, solo, acoustic guitar-backed sounds of his early performances.
Cooper first attracted attention when he performed in the folk clubs of Kansas City at the age of 16. Dropping out of college and moving to Los Angeles, he caused a stir with his poetry-like songs. His self-titled album was released by Elektra in 1973 and featured top-notch L.A. session players including Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, Jim Horn and Al Perkins. Moving to Texas in 1978, he joined forces with Russell. During the five years that they worked together, Cooper and Russell released three albums.
When the duo separated in 1983, Cooper formed a high-energy rock band, Dana Cooper's DC3. Although they recorded two albums and released a single, "Give Us the Money," in 1983, they failed to be commercially successful and disbanded. The band changed its name to the Nuclear Family in 1987 and released a self-titled album.
In 1988, Cooper returned to his acoustic roots and recorded three self-produced cassettes. His debut CD, Stone By Stone, released in 1992, was followed by Thrill of Love in 1994, featuring guest appearances by Russell and Jack Saunders. The CD was named Album of the Year by the Houston Press/KLOL Music Awards.
Cooper, who moved to Nashville in 1988, released a live acoustic album, Roughly Speaking, in 1995. His 1997 album Miracle Mile featured guest appearances by Lyle Lovett and Maura O'Connell. The same year, Cooper's 1987 cassette Complicated Stuff, was reissued on CD.