There is a collective energy in Nashville, one that Liz Cooper has poured herself into for the past six years. Liz remarks that the energy in Nashville today is akin to that of Greenwich Village in 1960s New York or the Laurel Canyon days in the 1960s and 1970s and is a product of a collaborative approach to music and art. This community has allowed Liz to be a part of many magically haphazard nights, where the movers and shakers of the Nashville music world, such as Okey Dokey, Becca Mancari, Rayland Baxter, Desert Noises, Morning Teleportation, Erin Rae, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant, Michael Nau and many more converge to make music and art and lose track of time. Her latest album is a product of that pulsating energy in Nashville that has had some of the greatest influence in her work.
Recorded at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville with co-production from TJ Elias, the band’s full length debut Window Flowers is the culmination of a yearlong dedication in which Cooper pushed herself to spend every single day creating in at least one medium and saying “yes” to everything she was asked to do. Joined in the studio by bassist Grant Prettyman and special guests Leah Blevins, Will Brown, Steve Dawson, Emily Kohavi, Michael and Ben Ford and Gianni Gibso, the album follows Cooper’s earlier self-released EPs—Monsters (2014) and Live at the Silent Planet (2016). Alongside Cooper, “The Stampede” consists of Prettyman and drummer Ryan Usher.
The band has become known for their explosive live shows, and on July 12th they will release a their EP Live in Chicago through their own label Sleepyhead Records, via Thirty Tigers. Recorded live at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern by Audiotree, the EP features four tracks from the bands new album, Window Flowers. The recording captures the spontaneous energy the band generates onstage, mixing twangy alt-country-meets-indie-rock sound on songs like the “The Night” and the rollicking “Mountain Main”, while sprawling out with a more 60s-influenced rock and roll sound on “Dalai Lama” and “Hey Man” as they channel legendary groups like the 13th Flower Elevators and Jefferson Airplane. While all of the songs on the EP truly shine, the band really cuts loose on the latter two tracks as they break out into frenzied and face-melting guitar jams. This is special stuff, sending a clear as day signal that Liz Cooper & the Stampede may be one of the most exciting live acts out there right now.
“I’m really proud and excited to be putting out a small batch of live songs and magic moments recorded at our sold-out show in Chicago. It was our first pre-show sell out, before the day of the show, as a headlining band,” says Cooper, summing up the energy of the night.
For more music and info visit lizcooperandthestampede.com.
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez