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This is Dana Cooper's second visit to Java Jax to perform since last year.
The first artist to perform at Java Jax's cozy set up corner stage last year during the Rattlesnake Round-Up was country/folk musician Buch Hancock of Lubbock. Since then there have been many other talented musicians to visit and entertain.
Smith: When did you really start playing music and enjoy playing to an audience?
Cooper: "I started at the age of 12 and was on the road by the age of 19.
I've been playing music and performing for venues for over 30 years of my life now. I'm now 59 years old and still enjoy it!
I live in Missouri, my wife's name is Linda and she is a full time graphic designer as well as artist, and writer.
We don't have any kids, but we do have our wonderful dog named, Twiggy!"
Smith:What brings you back to Sweetwater performing?
Cooper: "Not only does my agent line me up on some great gigs.
I was really treated nicely not only at Java Jax, but by the wonderful towns people . I had a great turnout."
Smith: Where are your favorite places to perform?
Cooper: " I have no favorite places really, I do enjoy house concerts.
It's just a gift to play for a great audience who enjoys the music and have a good time!"
Smith: You've had some performances with Lyle Lovett and a many other musicians. How did you and Lyle Lovett start working together?
Cooper: "We've known each other since College Station days as good friends. He was an Aggie, so we just sort of connected ever since. We did some gigs in Kansas and St. Louis together."
Smith: I noticed on your website it says you enjoy walking the streets of small towns, visiting churches, and cemeteries during the day? Why cemeteries?
Cooper: "It's kind of a meditative thing for me, it not only helps me get in touch with me. It helps me see and feel the history of the place where I am performing."
Smith: Do you have any other thoughts you might be able to tell me about your music and what you'd like to tell others about it?
Cooper: "I just try to share and express uplifting music with a positive vibe to my audience. I have had my ups and downs like every musician out there, but in the end of it all it's all worth it when you see the enjoyment in the audiences faces having a good time. That is something I truly enjoy."
Smith: What is your music really known as? I notice you have such an eclectic style.
Cooper: "It is mostly known as Americana, which is specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influential styles. I enjoy the classic rock feel though. My influences from the past have been, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Dillon, I think my favorite is Tom Petty."
Smith: What is some advice you can give the younger musicians of today trying to make it out there?
Cooper: "Just enjoy and love what you are doing. Do everything you can to succeed with you and your music, as long as it makes you happy."
Smith: Where are you headed after Sweetwater?
Cooper: "Next I'm headed to Lubbock, then back home in Missouri to do a few gigs.
I will be back on the road and headed to Houston to do some more performances.
Soon after that in March, I will be headed to Denmark, and Sweden to work with some other selected musicians who will have more electrical instruments. We will be doing some live performances their."