Singer/songwriter Dana Cooper played the intimate setting of the Trinity Backstage concert series Saturday night, April 22, and performed a selection of songs from his 33-year recording career. The audience, 100-people strong, kept calling for more, and would have stayed all night if he kept playing. Trinity Backstage continues to bring interesting, provocative, and talented musicians to Santa Barbara monthly, so see trinitybackstage.com. For more information about Dana Cooper, see danacoopermusic.com.
1) Cooper’s right hand: American guitarists maintain a list of who gets the right hand if anything happens. Cooper’s nimble right hand, speedy and graceful, kept a driving yet lyrical melody on all tunes, from “Jesse James”—“The song that got me my first record deal”— to the recently released “Made of Mud.” 2) Political commentary: Throughout the show, Cooper interspersed comments on the world around both in his conversation as well as his song lyrics. “Sit This One Out,” a song to Rosa Parks, reminds us of the power we all possess.
3) Sense of humor: Cooper’s wry sarcasm was evident throughout the performance as he bantered with the audience. This began with Cooper’s comments about the crowd’s enthusiastic response to his first tunes, “You’re a tough crowd, but I’m going to try and win you over.”
4) Uplifting message: “Great Day in the Morning” delivers the feeling of joy in a moment, so much so that concert series hostess Kate Wallace announced it was the song on her sister’s alarm clock.
5) Danceability factor: Cooper proved this, particularly when an inhibited 2-year-old in the back of the room got down and boogied. We were all tempted.