David Cooley played to a full house of family and friends at the release of his first album of original material, Cooley. Held at the popular, Vie de Boheme, it was the perfect setting for this singer-songwriter whose career spans nearly 30 years playing corporate events, weddings, and festivals in concert halls, private clubs, and nightclubs all over the Pacific Northwest, as well as around the World.
Cooley found his calling at the tender age of 8, when his father brought him to see a concert by country singer, Jimmy Dean. “I saw him walking down the aisle, with a mic, and that was it,” Cooley said. “I caught the bug, and it never left.” In the second grade, he even conducted his school’s orchestra. A bandleader, musician, singer, and songwriter, David’s repertoire covers four generations of American pop music. His original tunes are soulful, fun, drawn from his personal experiences, and cross musical genres from honky-tonk, to rock, country, R&B, and pop.
Opening with a couple of Blues standards, he then went on to perform the 10 tracks off the album beginning with “Don’t Say I Love You.” “As you walk out the door, don’t even try to even the score.” “Don’t say I love you, say goodbye.”
“Her Willing Eyes” was written as an ode to women for how giving we are, and asked the audience to applause for all women. “Her willing eyes and the way they look at me/the love she offers to no one but you/I couldn’t go on living without her willing eyes, they set me free.”
“Let Love Win” has a slight pop, yet sort of country feel and has an anthem type sound in its message of hope to “let love win this time around/you’re my only chance to keep this dream alive/gonna see this through to make our dreams come true.”
Written “several girlfriends ago”, “I Give Up” is when you reach that point where you just give up. “I give up on trying to love you, I give up trying to be true/gotta quit trying/I give up on loving you.”
“Belly Up to the Bar of Love” got people up and dancing. This song has a great bluesy-swing beat and you can’t help but want to dance to it. This song “is about a guy who loses his heart in one dance.” Hear it below.
Another crowd pleaser, “Everybody Must Drink” is a line his Uncle Rod used to say a lot. It’s got a honky-tonk beat which makes for a great dance song. “Everybody must drink, can’t do it alone/everybody must drink, sing a country song.”
“What’s So Bad About Bein’ a Fool?” is another post-break up song, as are many from the album. It starts off with a great guitar intro from Cameron, has a romantic vibe, and is about wanting her back, to love him again someday.
Cooley played a good rendition of “Morning, Noon and Night” by Big Joe Turner from the “50’s black radio stations that cool, white people listened to.”
There was a small group celebrating a 70th birthday party for “Darryl” and at one point, David sat down at the keys to play Happy Birthday with the audience joining in while a cake ablaze with candles was delivered to the birthday boy.
The first song written for the album, almost 12 years ago, is “This Love.” Enduring many revisions, it has become an audience favorite over the years. It is very much a love song, “from the day I was born, I’ve wanted to find a way back to your arms/I long to show you how grateful I’ve become/this love is the only love I know/my heart is leading me to love again.”
Another one that may appeal to the romantics out there is, “Song Tonight” with Dan’s beautiful keyboard intro. “I saw you in a song tonight/my eyes went sleepy and you snuck right in/I was singing in a dream, your eyes bright and clear.”
The final song from the album, “That One Thing,” has a real pop sound to it and is about trying to give that relationship a chance when there’s really only one thing holding it together. “But it wasn’t so easy loving you except for that one thing/the one thing we did just right, almost every night/we were doomed right from the start but we kept on trying because of that one thing.”
Friend, Dan Gaynor, keyboard player and co-producer of the album, was largely responsible for getting David to put the album together. They actually started it in Dan’s bedroom where his then one-year daughter was sleeping. The now five years old, Isabel, is clearly part of the band as she danced and delightfully engaged the audience throughout the show. Rounding out the band was Cameron Morgan on guitar, Marty Higgins, on drums, and Willy Barber on bass.
Watching the show, you really got a sense of the ease with which his years of experience as an entertainer brings. He has the ability to play from any era which serves to please an audience of all ages. He is also comfortable on the dance floor and has been known to teach a few dance moves during a show.
Cooley plans to promote the album on tour, but will also continue his cover band work at weddings and corporate events. “I feel very fortunate. I still love to sing all the cover songs,” Cooley said. “The older I get the more I feel the songs. Music is therapy for me. It kind of puts me in a place of sweetness.” I think those words would be echoed by most of us music fans.
For more information on David Cooley or to buy his c.d. visit www.cooleytunes.com.