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Laurence Cooper has been in the music business since the mid 1960's and made his first commerical recording with the blues band Gutbucket and their side-kick, blues singer Rick Bryant. His career successes continued as a member of the 70's high flyers Tapestry and with modern bands in the 90's before embarking on a solo career which has taken him full circle back to Tree Records in 2007.
Laurence’s first inspiration to get into music was hearing the electrifying and strident guitars of Hendrix, Cream, and the first John Mayall's Bluesbreakers album, with Eric Clapton. Cream especially were, and still are, an inspiration. Laurence was lucky enough to be working at EMI and got to first hear these albums before they were released.
His love of music lead him into playing with other musicians. In the '60's and 70's he toured and recorded with two New Zealand bands Gutbucket and Tapestry. Gutbucket is mentioned in two New Zealand publications about local musicians called When Rock Got Rollin' and Stranded in Paradise (where Gutbucket is mentioned as an underground band, demonstrating how the mainstream Labels failed to pick up on the NZ upsurge in interest in the blues). Tapestry is also mentioned in Stranded in Paradise.
Gutbucket is also featured on the New Zealand Jayrem Label's "Legenz" CD compilation "Out From the Cold" and on the Tree Label's compilation "Kiwi Made Music Vol.1." Tapestry is featured on Jayrem's "Legenz" CD compilation "Get the Picture".
In 1986 Laurence played with New Zealand alternative band Sneakers Fall Apart and with their encouragement began composing and performing his own songs and in the early days of the local cafe scene, also played with a Sneakers Fall Apart offshoot duo/trio called Face to Face.
By the 90's Laurence had branched out to a successful solo career, playing blues but also writing and playing more of his own songs. He has performed at local events, including the National Folk Festival, the Bluegrass Society, Arts Council concerts, the Poets Pub and as back the up artist for visiting American artists Suede and Kristina Olsen. He also plays the blues with Hudson, who are a duo of Laurence Cooper and double bass player Andrew Bicknell. They play at numerous local gigs while Laurence also performs with Felix Fine, another local group.
Laurence’s first CD “56 Coopers Lane” was released in 1998 to favourable reviews. This featured Laurence on vocals/guitars with Sydney group The Hippos. The CD was also recorded at Sky Lab Studios in Sydney in 1995 and 1997.
Meet New Zealand's Blues Man
Phosphorescence" 56 Coopers Lane
Album (TCD 4036) EP (TCD 4041)
Tapestry was a Wellington band in the early 1970's, formed by Dave and Wayne Feehan. Laurence Cooper was invited to join the group (as guitarist) to replace Derek Archer who had resigned suddenly. Graham McFarlane was the group's drummer.
All members of the ban sang but the main
Laurence's Time With Tapestry
vocalists were by Dave (bass) and Wayne (keyboards).
Laurence Cooper was with the band for approximately 18 months and in that time, played to a wide variety of venues and audiences, from Fashion Shows to Private Colleges.
Tapestry also had a Residency at the Wellington Sheridan and also appeared on TVNZ's "Happen Inn" pop show (twice) and released 2 records for 2 different Labels, "Midnight Rider" on the Indie Climax Label and "It's Wrong" on the Indie UBA Label, the latter making it to #8 on the New Zealand Charts in 1973.
Like so many New Zealand bands, they rose, ruled briefly then vanished again. The smallness of the NZ Scene caused this repeated pattern found in NZ Artists' careers..
The Epic Saga Of
Laurence Cooper's first full Album "Phosphorescence" took four years to complete and many joked that Laurence would never get it finished but when you live in New Zealand and the Studio is in Australia, it does take a lot of flying back and forth acorss the Tasman Sea and when you consider a person can only give a maximum performance for a limited time span, it did take a lot of trips over a period of time.
“Phosphorescence” was produced and recorded by Dave Russell at Sky Lab Studios in Sydney and it was released on 21 October 2006 then issued by Tree Records as a digital delivery product in late 2007, via CD Baby and iTunes.
Laurence wrote all the songs, sang and played all the guitars on the Album. Programming and keyboard arrangements were by Phil Groves of Sydney, with additional instrumentation by Dave Russell.
Laurence Cooper released these recordings on his own Mataura Music Label and is marketed globally by Tree Records
"56 Coopers Lane" is a five track EP and is the first time Laurence recorded outside of New Zealand, going across the Tasman Sea to Australia. Issued in 1998, Laurence started planning the project in 1996.
Backed by The Hippos from Australia, the 5 songs are: Going Down Slow, Night Games, Fading To Black, Set A Date and Storm Birds.
Full circle from a start with Gutbucket to a solo Blues EP
Other Website Links
* Laurence's Reverbnation Page HERE * Laurence's Album at CD Baby HERE * Laurance Cooper at MySpace HERE
Sneakers Fall Apart - 1986
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Clips & Downloads At Artist's Profile At
* 56 Coopers Lane EP at CD Baby HERE * Laurence's "Phosphorescence" at iTunes HERE * Laurence's "56 Coopers Lane" at iTunes HERE
With Gutbucket recording
"Spanish Blues" & "Wild About You" at HMV Studios in NZ mid 1969.
Song: Going Down Slow" = Laurence Cooper
Laurence was part of the rise of Blues Music's popularity in the 1960's
Laurence still performs today with his wife and friends from his old 1960's blues bands.