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Nov 30, 2009

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The Spirit Of Americana

The Spirit Of Americana

Seeing a performance by Dana Cooper at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville last fall gave the members of Six Mile Grove an idea.

They decided to create a monthly showcase of Americana music to introduce Rochester audiences to musicians just like that-including Cooper himself.

“I was having dinner later on, ” Cooper recalled. “They came up to me and introduced themselves. Brandon Sampson and I talked a bit, then we swapped cards and email.”

That chat eventually turned into a Minnesota state tour for the Nashville-based singer/songwriter. “We’re playing five nights in a row so it should be lots of fun,” Cooper said. “I haven’t really been in Minnesota for years.”

Cooper performs Friday at the final concert in the six-month-long Americana series. He will also join Six Mile Grove for several other concerts across the state, and perform and acoustic show with Dezi Wallace and Brandon Sampson at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota.

The concerts give the solo musician a chance to collaborate with other like-minded musicians, he said.

“I like their music,” Cooper said of Six Mile Grove. “I think it’s real compatible with what I play.”

Cooper has performed his humanistic, everyman guitar and harmonica driven music throughout the United States and Europe. He has won songwriting awards and his songs have been recorded by Mauro O’Connell, Jonell Mosser, Susan Warner, Jen Cohen, Christine Alber, Trout Fishing in America, Pierce Pettis, John Smith and Shake Russell.

Joining Six Mile Grove and Cooper for Friday’s showcase is another compatible Americana musician, Charlie Parr.

Parr was born and raised in Austin and later relocated to Duluth where he’s made a name for himself as an “authentic” folk and country blues musician. He’s performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” at roadhouses in Texas and punk clubs in Ireland.

Such eclecticism in the nature of the genre – the spirit of Americana, you might call it.

-Christina Killion Valdez, Post Bulletin Rochester, MN

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