If Jack Kerouac was writing On the Road today, Citizen Cope would be his soundtrack. Cope can be described as an urban folk musician, singer, songwriter of folk, rock n’ roll, soul, funk, and hip hop, without removing the emotive elements of acoustic blues from his sound. His music is like a hot summer’s day, while drinking an ice cool drink and getting to a place of calm.
The Rainwater LP, his third release, and on his own label, RainWater Recordings stays close to his distinctive style. Following the 10-song format of an LP, that can only hold 45-minutes of music, leaving no room for fillers — just a tightly produced album (and with that vinyl static sound effect throughout too). The Rainwater LP, is a capsule into the stories that have come into or around Cope’s life — personally or simply observed, and creating such vivid scenarios through song and mood. Collaborations are from Preston Crump (OutKast, Organized Noize, Raphael Saadiq), keyboardist James Poyser (D’Angelo, The Roots, Jill Scott, John Legend), percussionist Bashiri Johnson (Whitney Houston, Donald Fagen, Madonna), legendary go-go bassist Michael “Funky Ned” Neal, and DC go-go drummer Paul “Buggy” Edwards. They all bring their unique style creating a full and solid production.
From the release of his debut album Citizen Cope in 2002 and The Clarence Greenwood Recordings in 2006, his music has been featured in countless movies, television shows, and advertisements, most notably “Let The Drummer Kick” and “Bullet and a Target.” He also recorded a version of the Tom Waits gospel song, “Way Down In the Hole,” for HBO‘s critically acclaimed series, The Wire; they ended up not using it – have no idea why, because it would have fit the show perfectly. Click on the link below to download it for free (courtesy of CitizenCope.com).
He is currently on his US tour to promote The Rainwater LP; visit CitizenCope.com to see where you can catch him live and also buy a digital copy of The Rainwater LP from the site. The album will be available everywhere March 16th.
Listen to a couple of cuts from the album below.
“I Couldn’t Explain Why”