Ted Cooper | Marbles

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Marbles

by Ted Cooper

New recordings that present this rootsy singer/songwriter at his best. This album is funky, bluesy, funny and poignant... It's like being kicked in the head by a giraffe...but in a good way!
Genre: Blues: Folk-Blues
Release Date: 

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1. Bound for Glory On a Midnight Train
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3:39 $0.99
2. Oh Daddy
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3:00 $0.99
3. Sea of Galilee
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4:35 $0.99
4. Louise
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3:46 $0.99
5. Henry
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3:14 $0.99
6. Sara Lee Blues
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2:36 $0.99
7. Only If You Must
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5:05 $0.99
8. Gimme Gimme
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3:54 $0.99
9. No Home in This World
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3:34 $0.99
10. The Waitress Song
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3:42 $0.99
11. Lines
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ted Cooper has written over 200 songs. Here he presents eleven of his best. The songs feature Ted's rumbling baritone voice accompanied by guitars, acoustic and electric, blues harp and on some cuts, drums and keyboard. Each song takes you on a journey and introduces you to fascinating people and places you would otherwise never get to see.
Ted's gift as a songwriter is his ability to use humour to invite you into his into world.
You'll find yourself smiling despite the seriousness of some of the lyrics.
At the age of 13, Ted met blues great John Lee Hooker and spent the day hanging out with him.
Ted had the audacity to say, "You know, John Lee, I'm a blues singer too and am even in a band."
John Lee just laughed and said, "O yeah? Well I got a song maybe your band will want to do. It's called the Want Ad Blues. "
True story...as are the stories behind the songs on "MARBLES".
So sit back, close your eyes and listen...

Featuring Ted Cooper: guitars, harmonica, bass and lead vocals
Yaakov Gruzman: keyboards, percussion and backing vocals
Jeff "Lucky" Hale: backing vocals
Alec Biderman: drums
Charlie Rosenberg: 2nd guitar solo on "Louise"

Recorded at Pinball Studios, Toronto
Engineer: Yaakov Gruzman
Mixed and Mastered by Yaakov Gruzman
Assisted by Tuvie Gruzman

Audio Consultant: John Lee Cooper

All songs written by Ted Cooper

Thanks to Donna Margles for the marbles.....

Ted reveals how the songs came to be....

"Louise"
The music to Louise was developed during lessons to give my students a song that was easy to play.
To keep from getting bored while they hacked away, I came up with the bass line then a couple of melodic
riffs that sounded good while being played simultaneously.
I had begun to sing the words to "House of the Rising Sun" just to make it a song but the night before the
recording session I realized it needed it's own words. I thumbed through my old notebooks trying out different
lyrics until I came across "Louise", a torchy love song about a girl who refused to depart from my concsiousness
even though she had dumped me suddenly months before. her name wasn't Louise but it could have been.

Curiously, the tune that "Louise" had first been written to sounded a lot like the Dylan/Animals version of
"House of the Rising Sun".

"Henry"
I wrote "Henry" lying on my back on the floor. I was in a tiny hotel room in Eilat, Israel. I had just taken a five-hour
bus ride from Jerusalem and had thrown my back out as I retrieved my luggage. I was in great pain every time I moved.
Luckily, I could play my guitar to keep from going insane.
I started playing the three chords of the song right off the bat, finger-picking away like I was the illegitimate
grandson of Mississippi John Hurt. I played it over and over again making little changes until it felt complete.
I thought about the people you see in passing and how you imagine what they're like. Sometimes you even give them
names. Often you see the same strangers repeatedly and wonder about the signifigance of that.
I'd already ear-marked the name Henry as one I'd love to write a song about. Unfortunately, it's a name that seems to
have gone out if style. Most of the Henry's I've had the priveledge to have known are now deceased.
I admit the real reason I wrote the song was so I could say the word Henry so many times in a row without getting
locked up.




Reviews


to write a review

Oren Shani

The feeling that stays after all those years
I used to hear Ted plays in Tel Aviv more than 20 years ego, and the fact that I still remember the all the lyrics by hart and can close my eyes and see him there on the stage, after all these years says it all.

Eliyahu Shiffman

Blues with a feeling -- and a good dose of humor
Ted Cooper's "Marbles" could be roughly categorized as roots music, but that covers a lot of ground, ranging from driving, down-and-dirty blues-band stuff to small lyrical masterpieces accompanied by little more than Cooper's own acoustic guitar.

A hallmark of much of this album is the unselfconscious humor that runs through it, even in the otherwise serious stuff. Cooper's "Lines" may be the only love song in the world on record with the words "pliers," "raccoon" and "pyromaniac" in it. But he makes it work, with a hook that won't let you go. Who could argue with "When your mouth breaks into that pretty smile, you know I'd walk a country mile for you, baby for you."

"Sara Lee" is one of those chugging blues numbers with a freight-train tempo. If the title reminds you of a certain line of frozen desserts, it's no coincidence. "Sara Lee, you know I like you warm and free," Cooper sings, "but when you're frozen, baby, you ain't no good to me."

"Bound for Glory" sounds like it could be sung in a lot of black churches, with its stomping rhythm, its multi-voice choruses and its returning-sinner allusions: "I'm bound for glory on the midnight train, gonna let that train take me home." The honking mouth-harp ties it all up nicely.

Cooper's father passed away not long before this record was released, and "Daddy" is a touching inclusion. I don't know whether it was written prior to or following his Dad's death, but lyrics like "Daddy, hear my song, it's reaching out to you" are a beautiful send-off, incorporating a heartfelt thank-you along with an expression of the pain of parting.

Several of the songs on "Marbles" make passing reference to Israel, where Cooper spent several years in the 1980s. In fact, he became known there as Israel's "father of the blues," thanks to his central role in popularizing the genre in the Holy Land. On "Sea of Galilee," a song with a jazzy feel and a twittering-birds-and-crickets intro, Israel isn't just alluded to, it's front and center. It's an atmospheric piece, musically and lyrically, replete with images - past, present and future, real and imaginary. There are flying fish, shooting stars, a burning bush, a croaking frog, a wailing wall and a giggling girl in a crystal ball.

The rootedness of "Sea" contrasts strikingly with the wistful rootlessness of "I Ain't Got No Home In This World," with a tune you'll have trouble getting out of your head.

I'm not going to comment on every last song, even though I'm leaving out some excellent ones, but I can't end this review without mentioning the hilarious "Waitress Song." It's more poem than song, spoken in a Tom Waitsy growl, accompanied only by bass, drums, clattering plates and background chatter, and it commiserates with the plight of waitresses everywhere. "One wants an ash tray, one wants a spoon, one wants a table with a view of the moon."

If you ever get a chance to see Ted Cooper play live, don't miss it. But in the meantime, "Marbles" is a great intro to this very talented singer-songwriter-bluesman.