Displaying items by tag: Chris Cooper

By Chris Cooper

To say that Mountain Heart isn’t exactly your “average” bluegrass band is more than a slight understatement. In fact, somewhere around the middle of Wide Open’s first track, “Traveler’s Prayer,” the band breaks it down with a stack of chords and a rhythmic flair that’s anything but typical for bluegrass. And that’s just the start of it.

By Chris Cooper

When Norah Jones swept the 2003 Grammies, it was more than just a victory for a new artist — many (including myself) felt it was a statement in support of truly dedicated songwriters and musicians everywhere. It hinted toward the possibility that it was all right to be good again, and that the sea of technologically and cosmetically enhanced “pop” stars might not be as deep as we feared.

Expectations are tricky things. You can crack open a CD with basically one of two mindsets: “This is going to be good,” or “Ugh. I need a drink.”

By Chris Cooper

Morning Missed: Broken Cords Of Rotten Wood

By Chris Cooper

Swing can take many forms. It can bop and bounce like Calloway and Ellington, or it can sprout a 10-gallon hat and spurs in the hands of Bob Wills and his Playboys. It’s been reborn time and again whenever a younger generation looks to the past for something new and inspiring to embrace. After all, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

By Chris Cooper

Yeah, it’s a quip that’s terribly overused — the one about “... there must be something in the water...”

By Chris Cooper

Some conclusions could be drawn after listening to Rhythms Del Mundo in its entirety.

By Chris Cooper

Christmas is one of those times where there’s a surge of buying in the instrument market, and much of that buying involves some lucky kid (or adult) getting their first guitar. So what I’d like to do here is provide some insight into getting the most out of that initial phase of playing and learning, list what extras you really may need, and give a little insight as to what elements make up a “good” guitar.

Something I’ve noticed over the years is that the longer you’re on this planet, the smaller said planet seems to become. This observation becomes especially true if you find yourself immersed in a particular field or occupation for a long time — paths that may have crossed long ago, seemingly by coincidence, inevitably find a way to cross again later.

Three from the vault

By Chris Cooper

I’m beginning to notice a relationship between the acquisition of “new” used CDs at my place of employment and my need to write in a “multiple CD” review format. Coincidence? I think not. But this week I was reminded, for the umpteenth time, that there is indeed a veritable smorgasbord of great music waiting to be heard out there.

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The Naturalist's Corner

  • The eagles have landed
    The eagles have landed The eagles’ neighbors have known for months, observant birders and other Lake Junaluska regulars have either known or suspected, and I have sat on the news for a while as I consulted with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, but…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • Colorful reminders of long-ago homesteads
    Colorful reminders of long-ago homesteads A chimney standing all alone where a fire burned a house down long ago … a crumbling stone wall overgrown with tangles of vines … a flattened area on a slope above a creek or abandoned roadbed … all are likely locations for a dwelling…
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