In a world of sound bites, text messages and ten second online videos, it takes a special talent to get people to pay attention to music for more than a few moments at a time. Lubbock, Texas native Ross Cooper is that talent. His upcoming album I RODE THE WILD HORSES makes a case for long-term listening, the kind of music headphones were designed for. His is an intimate listening experience that starts with the introspective title track and segues to story songs, the kind of songwriting Texas, Lubbock in particular, has been giving America for centuries.
As interesting as his music is, Ross Cooper’s story may be even more captivating, if not unexpected. Born into rodeo family (where his parents met), Cooper spent his life in the rodeo and, up until a few years ago, he had dual careers as both a bareback bronc rider and musician. It took a knee injury for the storytelling singer/songwriter to decide where his true path lead and fortunately for us, he chose music.
A product of West Texas from a town which he says is “an island surrounded by dirt,” Ross Cooper comes to music as naturally as he did the rodeo. While his family wasn’t heavily invested in music, he wrote his first song with his mother on her piano – Ross was only ten. From there, he learned from and listened to his parent’s favorite music (ZZ Top and Hank Williams), then his older brother’s (Cory Morrow, Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen). As great as those influences are, it wasn’t until Cooper heard The Mavericks and Ryan Adams that music really clicked.
From there, Ross Cooper was off. It brought him to a style of music that is unexpected from former rodeo stars: an amalgam of all those influences, but not stuck in one little box. This is music for everyone, not music tailored for the rodeo life. Some would call it Americana, some would call it Country, some would call it Rock. Whatever genre you choose to place it under, what it is is good music, and with that Cooper manages to take us on a journey that cannot happen in sound bites, text messages or 10 second videos.