Ross Cooper - Billy Bob's Texas

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  BACK TO CONCERTS & EVENTS

Ross Cooper

at Billy Bob's Texas 81 Club


We look forward to welcoming Ross Cooper to Billy Bob’s Texas on Friday, August 13, 2021. We offer a one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards! While you’re here check out the Honky Tonk Kitchen, Billy Bob’s gift store, and the Handprint Wall of Fame!

Show Details
Ross Cooper at 9:00 PM on the Main Stage in the 81 Club

Doors Open at 7:00 PM

START 9:00 PM DOORS 7:00 PM

$100 Table of 4/ $20 Reserved Seat / $10 GA


About Ross Cooper

THERE’S A STILLNESS IN THE STREETS OF LUBBOCK AT NIGHT. IF YOU’VE EVER FOUND MIDNIGHT IN THE ALLEYS BETWEEN TEXAS AVENUE AND 17TH STREET, YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN THE GHOST OF BUDDY HOLLY SLIP AROUND THE CORNER OR HEARD THE FAINT NOTES OF A LONESOME WEST TEXAS GUITAR FADING DOWN TOWARD U.S. 62. IN THE RIGHT LIGHT, THE CITY LOOKS LIKE A SCENE FROM AN OLD HOLLYWOOD COWBOY FILM, FULL OF BRAVADO AND DESPAIR, RINGING WITH HOPE AND ADVENTURE.

ROSS COOPER GREW UP SURROUNDED BY THE MELANCHOLY OF THAT CITY, FLOATING BETWEEN HIS LOVE OF HORSES AND SONG. WATCHING AND LISTENING, HE DEVELOPED AN ALTERNATIVE WESTERN SONGWRITING STYLE ROOTED IN THE CRAFT OF THE GREAT LONE STAR WRITERS ROBERT EARL KEEN AND TOWNES VAN ZANDT, TEMPERED BY A SPRINGSTEEN-STYLE SPIRIT OF THE LOST ROAD – AND ANCHORED BY A MUSICAL SOUNDTRACK SPARKLING LIKE THE BIG, BRIGHT STARS AT NIGHT. NEVER HAS THAT SOUND BEEN MORE APPARENT THAN ON HIS FORTHCOMING ALBUM, CHASING OLD HIGHS.

THE 11-TRACK RECORD KICKS OFF WITH THE FEEL-GOOD “HELLO SUNSHINE” (A “HAPPY RADIO SONG THAT’S NOT A RADIO SONG,” HE EXPLAINED) BEFORE HEADING INTO DEEPER TERRITORY WITH THE TITLE TRACK, A SONG ABOUT AN AGING RODEO CHAMPION WHO CAN’T LET GO OF THE PAST. FOR COOPER, SONGWRITING HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT PAINTING THOSE KIND OF VERY REAL PICTURES, CAPTURING THE MOMENT THE HILL COUNTRY FADES INTO DIRT AND DESERT, THE MOMENT A CAREER TURNS FROM HOPE TO DESPAIR. THAT WHERE-THE-WEST-BEGINS SPIRIT IS NEVER CLEARER THAN IN THE WICKED GAME OF “SOUTH OF THE ANGELS”, A SPOOKY TWILIGHT FRAME OF A SONG, WHERE IT’S EASY TO GET LOST IN THE ATMOSPHERE. COOPER TRULY HITS HIS STRIDE ON “FLATLAND”, AN ACHING WONDER OF A SONG ABOUT STANDING WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE CURVE OF THE EARTH. THE CLOSING TRACK, “LONG WAY FROM A LONG WAY HOME” IS AN EPIC FINGER-PICKING BALLAD ABOUT A COWBOY WHO HAS LOST IT ALL, A STRANGER-IN-A-STRANGE LAND STORY THAT SUMS UP THE ESSENTIAL HEART OF THE WHOLE ALBUM: A LOST SOUL TIED TO THE LAND, WITH AN ACHE FOR LOVE, LOST YEARS AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOME.

THE ALBUM’S RECORDING ATMOSPHERE WAS BUILT AROUND AN UNEXPECTED GUEST: THE SOUND OF A MID-CENTURY GIBSON J-50 ACOUSTIC GUITAR, A GIFT TO COOPER FROM A FAMILY FRIEND WHO HAS PASSED. PRODUCER OSCAR CHARLES HEARD THAT GUITAR ON MANY OF THE SCRATCH RECORDINGS LEADING INTO THE SESSIONS, AND KNEW IT HAD TO BE THERE.

“OSCAR KNOWS SONGS, AND I KNEW I WANTED THE SOUND TO MATCH THE SONGS ABOVE ALL ELSE,” COOPER SAID. “A SINGLE-COIL TELECASTER AND THAT J-50 REALLY DEFINED SO MUCH. THE TELE GAVE IT SOME OF THAT DESERT SOUND, MAYBE A LITTLE RETRO ROMANTICISM, BUT IT WAS THAT OLD ACOUSTIC GUITAR THAT SET THE STAGE. IT HAD A SPACE ALL ITS OWN.”  IT’S NOT TEXAS, IT’S NOT NASHVILLE: IT’S CINEMATIC.

“WE LOVED THE SOUND OF THAT GUITAR SO MUCH THAT WE LET IT LEAD THE WAY,” HE CONTINUED. “THESE ARE STORIES AND LIFE FROM THE WEST, BUT ON THE PRODUCTION SIDE, WE OFTEN REFERENCED BANDS LIKE THE EAGLES, AND WE WANTED THAT TO COME OUT IN SOME OF THE HARMONY ARRANGEMENTS. EVERYBODY IN THE BAND SINGS LIVE, AND WE WANTED TO CAPTURE THAT ON TAPE AS WELL.”

COOPER SPENT MOST OF HIS LIFE JUST SOUTH OF LUBBOCK, WHERE HIS HIGH SCHOOL WAS “HALF SUBURBAN KIDS, AND HALF COUNTRY KIDS”. HE GRAVITATED TO THE RODEO, WHERE RIDING BRONCS LED TO A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP, AND FURTHERED INTO THE PROFESSIONAL RODEO COWBOYS ASSOCIATION (PRCA). HIS MOTHER WAS A MUSICIAN, AND THE PULL OF SONGWRITING – IN PARTICULAR HIS GROWING OBSESSION WITH THE LYRIC CRAFT OF GUY CLARK AND VAN ZANDT – FINALLY OUTWEIGHED HIS LOVE OF SPURS. HE MOVED TO NASHVILLE IN 2012, BUT TEXAS IS STILL HOME.

“I’VE HEARD LUBBOCK DESCRIBED AS AN ISLAND SURROUNDED BY DIRT,” HE LAUGHED. “AND YOU CAN’T ARGUE THAT, BUT THERE’S SOMETHING YOU CAN FEEL IN THE AIR. THERE’S SUCH A RICH HERITAGE; IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS. IT’S A HARD LAND, AND HARD PEOPLE.  YOU WON’T FIND BETTER FOLKS ANYWHERE.  THEY’RE TOUGH, AND HAVE LEARNED TO OUTLAST THE WEATHER. THERE ARE A HUNDRED DIFFERENT WAYS TO CUT WHERE WEST TEXAS STARTS ON A MAP, BUT YOU CAN ARGUE IT’S LIKE LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WEST, IT’S SOMEWHERE LIKE NOWHERE ELSE.”

MUCH LIKE CHASING OLD HIGHS, AN ALBUM THAT WALKS THE DUSTY LINE BETWEEN TEXAS (“A LONG WAY FROM AUSTIN, MIND YOU”) AND TENNESSEE, CACTUSES AND RIVERS, ATMOSPHERE AND EMOTION, IT’S IN A SPACE ALL ITS OWN, ANNOUNCING A DIFFERENT KIND OF MODERN SONGWRITER, ONE NOT AFRAID TO SMILE AT THE PAST.

COOPER’S DEDICATION TO SUCH SONGWRITING HAS LANDED HIS SONGS ON OTHER ARTISTS’ ALBUMS, INCLUDING CUTS BY RANDY ROGERS, WADE BOWEN AND WILLIAM CLARK GREEN.

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