The Copperheads have just polished off their
third LP, Cold Mississippi. It is a true country-soul album, both musically & lyrically. Sound-wise, it conjures up Al Green with a twang, George Jones with a groove, or the Eagles minus the power chords & sunglasses.
Word-wise, the protagonists of Cold Mississippi are holding out for better times and better places. The song Midway cruises the St. Paul strip with two soldiers, one a veteran, one due to depart. Close My Eyes to See You dreams of a loved one lost during wartime. Why (am I treated so bad), a gospel song made famous by the Staple Singers, vents a mountain of frustration and then tells you to get on with it.
This is the band’s first collaboration with big league mixers, Tom Garneau & Jacques Wait. Tom has worked with Prince, the Breeders, Mike Doughty, Mason Jennings, etc. Jacques has worked with scores of national & local indie rock bands & was named the MMA’s producer of the year of 2004. Tracks were recorded at the Blatz Litehouse, LarSound Studios, and Mastermix Studios.
The Copperheads are: Ray Barnard - guitar & lead singer/songwriter, Bill Davis - bass & vocals, Matthew Fox - lead guitar & vox, Marc (the Artiste) Johnson - drums, Thomas Larson - keyboards & vox, and Jim Nee - pedal steel & lap slide.
The Copperheads have been together for eight years & have put out two very well-reviewed CDs, This Train is Gainin’ and Country & Blues Revue. They’ve left the stage a better place for Bobby Bare Jr., Junior Brown, Rosie Flores, Wayne Hancock, the Iguanas, Jack Ingram, Shooter Jennings, Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Robison, Chris Scruggs, and Joe Simon.
"The band's third LP, 'Cold Mississippi' is unquestionably their best. A perfect synthesis of country and soul, the songs are very well-crafted and relevant to the times, not so much politically, but emotionally. The performances are sweet, soulful, and powerful---the gospel numbers are a revelation."
Joe Robbie Luke - Americana-On-Line
“This Train is Gainin’ is a stellar collection of pristine country blues, with gorgeous harmonies throughout. The boys are at their best when throwing soul into the countrypolitan mix, like on the standouts “Last Sad Song” and “My Heart’s on Fire.”
Paul Demko - City Pages
“With too many bands steeped in alt-country’s rowdy clichés (i.e. bad grammar and drinking), it’s refreshing to hear the soulful, sophisticated songs of the Copperheads.”
Chris Riemenschneider - Mpls. StarTribune
“The Copperheads debut LP, Country & Blues Revue, recalls artists like Charlie Rich, current Nick Lowe, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, and The Band. The blending of soul and country is making a comeback—The Copperheads are doing it as well as anyone out there.” Scott Homewood - Freight Train Boogie webzine