Article and Photos by: Michael W. Bright
Louisville, KY — Liz Cooper and her band, The Stampede, exude confidence and seasoning despite this being their first headlining tour. Based in the hyper-competitive musical environment of Nashville they’re hitting clubs across the country through July in support of a first full length album, Window Flowers.
The three-piece band is tight and adventurous, the songwriting, smart, fun, all executed within a freewheeling framework that might reflect two or three musical styles in one song. Extended rock jams could make a hard right turn into a funky disco break, then back into a classic ’60s psychedelic, flanged, micro-phased, tremolo trip. No one has finessed a whammy bar to such heights in decades and her elegant, custom, spruce, Creston electric guitar delivers any style she asks. Then, after the transitions, as if to say, “ain’t that slick,” she smiles discreetly at her audience, her attitude connecting particularly with those on her frequency.
Drummer Ryan Usher, new to the band, is a hot monster who negotiates, then propels the demanding twists and turns that Cooper’s songs require. Zanzabar is a standing room only club with a low, close stage, so its apparent if a band doesn’t connect. That wasn’t the case on this Friday night.
You will find a list of upcoming Liz Cooper and the Stampede appearances at lizcooperandthestampede.com.