Singing a laidback gumbo of acoustic blues, singer/songwriter rock ‘n' roll and deep soul grooves, Brooklyn-based Clarence Greenwood, known to friends and fans as simply "Cope," has crafted an album redolent of such classic tunesmiths as Randy Newman and Stevie Wonder.
Dug deep into the rich soil of American music, Cope's roots are complex. You may think of Bill Withers or Neil Young or John Lee Hooker or Van Morrison or Willie Nelson or Al Green. Yet, Listening to Cope, you also may think of none of the above. You may not think at all, but rather feel a man exposing stories that haunt his heart.
He was born a child of the '70s, and his life journey is as singular as his art. He is the radically mashed-up product of Greenville, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Vernon, Texas; Austin, Texas; Washington, DC; and Brooklyn, N.Y.. These locations are felt everywhere in his stories. His sounds are southern rural, big sky lonely, concrete urban, and painfully romantic.
In the past nine years, he has produced four albums of depth and distinction, each a critical chapter in his search for a sound that paints an auditory American landscape in which despair wars with hope and hope, tied to love, is elusive.
Cope's musical education was catch-as-catch can. Folk tales whether through William Faulkner or Big Bill Broonzy shaped his sensitivity. A few college courses at Texas Tech alternately bored and excited him. In the Austin of the '80s, he took sound classes and found himself fooling with a primitive four-track setup. Turntables intrigued him. He heard hip hop as inspired invention. For years, he got lost in his self-designed lab, cooking up beats and motifs that only later would be shaped into songs.
The new album features the title track, "One Lovely Day," which is featured in the movie "Battleship," and is already climbing the radio charts.
|1. One Lovely Day|
|2. Something to Believe In|
|3. Dancer From Brazil|
|4. Back Then|
|6. Peace River|
|7. For a Dollar|
|8. Southern Nights|
|9. A Wonder|