Slide guitarist/vocalist/harmonica slinger Henry Cooper fell in love with the open D chord 20 years ago. It isn't like he was trying to take the easy path or limit himself. He was in love with the sound of Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Earl Hooker, Robert Nighthawk and Hop Wilson, and who could blame him. After all, those cats are not bad folks to be influenced by.
The slide into the blues began for Cooper at 16, while he was working at the Eugene (Oregon) Hotel as a busboy. It was while listening to a local radio station that he heard the Paul Butterfield Band playing "The Work Song" off of the infamous "East West" album. Living in Eugene also enabled Cooper to take advantage of the various harmonica players that lived and performed frequently in Oregon. Cats like Curtis Salgado and his band the Nighthawks, Bill Rhoades and Mike Mother. A purchase of a lap steel guitar from a local pawnshop led to Cooper forming his first guitar band, Los Explorers.
Much of "Slide Man" is enhanced by the proficient Hammond B3 organ and keyboard playing of Andrew Larson, especially on "After All," as well as the bass playing of Eric Bryson. Also adding to the CD is drummer/percussionist Andrew Cloutier.
3158 E. Burnside, Portland, Ore., 97214, (503) 231-0876
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.