Gerry Cooper @ The Coach and Hoeses

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Gerry Cooper @ The Coach and Hoeses

Originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gerry has lived and worked in West Yorkshire for many years, playing many kinds of music with many different people. He has worked in ceilidh bands, Irish rock groups, pit bands for musicals, and church groups. However, his first love has always been solo acoustic blues: listening to the pre-war recordings of the old blues players was a major influence in his youth (he first picked up a guitar at the age of sixteen) and has become increasingly important as the years have passed. Assiduous practice and a three-year spell during the early 90s in the influential blues guitar workshop run by Roger Sutcliffe at Ilkley College helped to sharpen up his playing: he took over leadership of this workshop when Roger retired from his day-job. Friendship with members of the famous Leeds Blues Mafia, especially Steve Phillips and Dave Speight, also helped to deepen his commitment to this music, as did his three-year stint in the legendary duo The OKeh Boys with Richard Young.

After retiring early from teaching in 2002, Gerry now performs at clubs, festivals and pubs around England, and has also gigged occasionally in Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain and New Zealand. He has released several recordings: Big Road Blues (2004), My Train Is Waiting (2006), Live at Keighley Blues Club (2010), and Follow the River (2012). He has just released a new solo album of acoustic blues, On My Way Down Home (2018).

In addition to his solo work, Gerry also plays occasionally in a duo with multi-instrumentalist and record producer Phil Snell, with whom he has released two albums (Winding Boy and Other Tall Tales [2012] and Truckin’ On To Happy [2014]), and was the guitarist and occasional vocalist in the trio Bessie’s Blues, which honoured the great female blues singers: their 2016 CD is entitled Starting Out. The trio is currently on hiatus…

Although there are those who think Gerry has too many guitars, he is usually seen in public with a Martin 000-28, a Michael Messer ‘Lightning’ resophonic, a Michael Messer ‘Blues 28’ wooden resophonic and a Paul Brett Signature Model 12-string. He also plays harmonica, mandolin, ukulele, bass guitar and 5-string banjo. He cites his main influences as Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Blind Boy Fuller, Robert Johnson, Son House, Muddy Waters, Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith. Many modern players have influenced him too, especially Roger Sutcliffe, Steve Phillips, Dave Speight, Stefan Grossman, Michael Messer, Dave Kelly, and the late and much-missed Jo Ann Kelly, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn.

Mar 17 2019


Date: March 17
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
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The Coach & Horses – Dronfield

Sheffield Road
Dronfield, S18 2GD United Kingdom

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01246 413269

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