Press Archive

Plugged-In Peter Cooper Lives a Charmed Musical Life - January 27, 2011 -
A couple of years ago, former Spartanburg resident and Wofford College graduate Peter Cooper was at a party hosted by country music legend Tom T. Hall. Several high-profile musicians were there, including bluegrass icon Earl Scruggs, and a guitar was being passed around...

The Best Country Albums of 2010 - January 5, 2011 - Country Universe
Moonlighting journalist Cooper continues making an underground case for himself as one of the most thoughtful artists working anywhere near the country genre...

The 50 Best Country Songs of 2010 - December 31, 2010 - American Twang
Dean Brody and Peter Cooper (who land songs at #2 and #1 on this list) released their albums to little fanfare, but both contained a wealth of thoughtfully written, passionately performed country music that deserves a second look...

TybeeDawg’s Pick of the Litter 2010 - December 31, 2010 - Rattlesnake Confusion
Different sides of the same coin, these two records demonstrate Nashville’s future with Brace and Cooper’s songwriting skills while honoring the past with the striking presence of steel guitar legend Lloyd Green and covers by Tom T Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Don Schlitz and John Hiatt...

Top 10 Country Music Albums of 2010 - December 28, 2010 - American Twang
Peter Cooper is best known as the country music reporter for Nashville’s daily newspaper The Tennessean, but he’s also a gifted songwriter with a quirky sense of humor and a keen eye for detail...

Cooper Album Showcases Pedal Steel Legend Lloyd Green - December 23, 2010 -
For those knowledgeable Gulf Coast country music fans who’ve felt a sense of pride over the years that Green was one of their own, “The Lloyd Green Album” is a neat summary of Green’s artistry on the pedal steel guitar...

Freight Train Boogie Best Music of 2010 - December 16, 2010 - Americana Boogie
#6 ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER -Master Sessions (Red Beet)...

Master Sessions Review - October 2010 -
Last year, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper issued the wryly titled You Don't Have to Like Them Both and garnered a Top 10 spot on Americana / Folk DJ charts and a #1 on the Freeform American Roots slate, deservedly so. This CD will take them much further, pure evidence that some musicians mature with surprising speed...

The Lloyd Green Album Review - October 19, 2010 - American Twang
Next time you’re at the record store, flip through a stack of country LPs. Chances are you’ll see one name on at least half of them: Lloyd Green. The living legend and his pedal steel have appeared on hundreds of hits and songs we now call classics in his approximately fifty-year career...

The Lloyd Green Album Review
- October 2010 - Folk and Music Exchange
If you're an aficionado of pedal steel (and, good lord, who isn't?), this is the 2010 album ya hafta have. Of course, as expected, Peter Cooper's performance is flawless, but Lloyd Green is ten shades of lyrical on a release specifically created by Cooper, the steel-fingered wizard firmly in mind...

Mission Door Review
- January 3, 2010 - Playgrounds Magazine
On “Thin Wild Mercury,” a song co-written with Todd Snider, Peter Cooper tells the story of how folksinger Phil Ochs gave Bob Dylan some honest feedback about his new sound and was summarily ejected from the star’s limo, along with the harshest insult Dylan could muster: “Phil, you’re not a writer, you’re a journalist."...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - April 10, 2009 - Bad Robot
Eric Brace front man of the Alt-Country band, Last Train Home is joined by his friend, music journalist (The Tennessean) / singer-songwriter Peter Cooper to produce an album both rich in quality and typical of the innovative flare of East Nashville...

Cooper Staying Immersed in Music - April 9, 2009 - Go Upstate
Peter Cooper is the ultimate modern-day Renaissance man when it comes to music. In addition to being a respected music journalist in Nashville, Tenn., who is often seen...

Mission Door Review - April 2009 - Dirty Linen
Peter Cooper is a writer. Up until now, he's been best known as a writer of prose, covering music for The Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper. The songs he offers on Mission Door show Cooper to be a songwriter and musician with a distinct and original voice...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - April 2009 - Vintage Guitar
Despite this disc's semi-apologetic title, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper should feel no shame about this release. cooper says the goal in making 'You Don't Have To Like Them Both' was to create "a portrait of friendship and song"...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - April 7, 2009 - California Chronicle
These two longtime music journalists have made some mighty fine music separately, Eric Brace over several albums with his band Last Train Home, and Peter Cooper with his 2008 debut, "Mission Door"...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - March 13, 2009 - Washington Post
Like college roommates with remarkably similar record collections, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper are as compatible as can be on their first duo CD, an album largely devoted to songs composed by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Jim Lauderdale, David Olney and Todd Snider...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - March 2009 -
The coming together of Eric Brace and Peter Cooper is like the meeting of two rivers; two determined forces, two fluid entities, two focussed 'beings' - the two seamlessly become one, one gently persuasive but flexible force, one forceful power - Eric Brace & Peter Cooper sound as if they were born to play together...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - March 8, 2009 - Honest Tune
It was that move to The Music City that brought Brace together with Peter Cooper, a writer for Nashville's The Tennessean and a fellow appreciator of the finest Americana songwriters...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - February 18, 2009 - Fifty Cent Lighter
Those who can't do... teach. You've heard that old expression before. The idea behind it is that it's easy to study something and know how to do it, yet still lack the ability to actually do it yourself...

For What It's Worth - February 9, 2009 - Hickory Wind
Cooper, the music critic for The Tennessean, knows of which he writes. “Mission Door” is an accomplished blend of originals and carefully chosen covers...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - February 4, 2009 - No Depression
Famous journalistic tag-teams more commonly are known for uncovering the dark deeds of politicians and other known criminals, not covering the gems from their friends' songbooks. But...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - February 2009 - Baby Sue
Mid-tempo country flavored pop with hints of bluegrass threaded in and out. Eric Brace and Peter Cooper are two writers in Nashville, Tennessee who decided to hook up and record some tunes together...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - January 22, 2009 - The Charleston Gazette
Journalists who moonlight as musicians (or vice versa) are always worthy of some skepticism (take it from one who knows). But this collaboration between former Last Train Home singer/songwriter Eric Brace and singer/songwriter Peter Cooper is the best of both worlds...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - January 15, 2009 -
You Don't Have To Like Them Both is a second collaborative album for Eric Brace, (lead singer with Last Train Home) this time with Nashville songwriter and friend, Peter Cooper...

Eric Brace and Peter Cooper may be music writers... - January 21, 2009 - Nashville Scene
The words of Eric Brace and Peter Cooper have passed through cerebral cortexes more often in print than in song. But the two veteran music journalists were musicians before they were published scribes...

You Don't Have to Like Them Both Review - January 15, 2009 - The City Paper
You Don’t Have to Like Them Both is a genuine collaboration, with the duo easily switching between lead and harmony roles as well as song contributions...

Dan Milliken's Top 10 Albums of 2008 - December 25, 2008 - Country Universe
The debut moonlighting effort from music journalist Cooper seems to occupy its own special little place in the music world. It’s a place where life’s little moments seem to spill accidentally into song...

Best Country Music of 2008 - December 18, 2008 - Pop Matters
Premiere country music journalist Peter Cooper takes a shot at the other side with his debut album Mission Door. Cooper’s perceptive journalist’s eye suits him well as a songwriter...

Best Album By a Music Critic - 2008 - Nashville Scene
Readers of Cooper's Tennessean articles would expect literacy and adventure in his lyrics and an Americana tilt to his musical choices.

Peter Cooper - 2008 - Sing Out! Magazine
The cover sticker's testimonies from Kris Kristofferson and Todd Snider, along with the LPs strewn around in the cover photo, set high expectations for Peter Cooper's song craft.

WPLN News Feature - June 3, 2008 - Nashville Public Radio
You may know Peter Cooper as a music writer for “The Tennessean,” and magazines like “No Depression” and “Esquire.” What you may not realize is that Cooper’s also a first-rate singer-songwriter.

Peter Cooper - Mission Door - June 2008 - Music Connection
As a journalist, Peter Cooper covers the Nashville music scene; with this debut, it’s apparent that he’s a monumental wordsmith in his own right.

Peter Cooper - Mission Door - May 2008 - Performing Songwriter
It’s little wonder Peter Cooper’s songs are so articulate. A renowned journalist and critic, Cooper successfully transitions to making music with this affecting debut on Red Beet Records, the start-up label founded by the band Last Train Home.

Peter of All Trades - May 15, 2008 - Fairfax Connection
Most of my music-making was of the underground variety until an artist named Todd Snider asked if I would go out and open some tour dates for him. Several hundred dominos later, I have an album out and I'm touring the world.

Peter Cooper - Mission Door - March 10, 2008 - Pop Matters
Let’s get one thing straight here: me writing about Peter Cooper, one of the most prolific country music critics and scholars in the business (he teaches country music history at Vanderbilt and has written for numerous music publications), is a little like Avril Lavigne talking smack on Debbie (sorry, Deborah) Harry: the cocky, young upstart should never criticize the master.

Peter Cooper - Mission Door - April 28, 2008 - Audiophile Audition
Mission Door is Peter Cooper’s first solo album—a cool mix of alt-country, indie rock, classic country, folk, and Americana. The amazing amount of pedal steel guitar (jaw-droppingly played by veteran Lloyd Green) makes it sound more country than it really is, but this is refreshingly original, intellectually sharp, and emotionally satisfying music of the first order.

Peter Cooper, Mission Door - April 2008 - No Depression
Album one by Peter Cooper, music critic for Nashville daily The Tennessean and an occasional No Depression contributor, reflects a flair for thoughtful storytelling in the traditions of John Prine, Tom T. Hall and Jim Lauderdale, warmy complemented throughout by co-producer Lloyd Green's pedal steel virtuosity.

FAME Review - April 2008 - Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
Mission Door is the initial collection of songs from this songwriter who spent earlier incarnations writing about musicians and music and absorbing what his heroes said; it is apparent he has learned these lessons.

Mission Door Review - April 2008 - American Songwriter Magazine
Cooper wears many hats: journalist, producer, professor. And on Mission Door, he sports his finest songwriting cap. This 12-track effort rejuvenates like a hot mineral spring, with each song hoisted up by a plainspoken honesty and delivered via Cooper's no frills vocals.

Peter Cooper's Mission Door - April 15, 2008 -
I've listened to Peter Cooper's "Mission Door" about half a dozen times in the last 24 hours and if the year keeps going like this my 2008 top ten list is going to get pretty crowded.

Listen Up - Music Views, News, and Reviews - April 2008 - USAToday
I've never met Peter Cooper, but we have talked on several occasions when he's done stories for USA TODAY. I knew he was a musician and played with Todd Snider, but his own album came as a surprise to me -- and a welcome one.

Lyrics Recall Aaron's Swing, Style - April 13, 2008 - The Oregonian
Peter Cooper wrote a baseball song, one about Hank Aaron, his life, and the day he broke Babe Ruth's home run record. Why? Well, Barry Bonds was one reason.

Mission Door Review - April 2008 - Country Standard Time
It's boggling to think that this is Peter Cooper's debut. The writing is mature, the arrangements thoughtful and artistic. This is storytelling in song by the Nashville-based music journalist. His lyrics are often as brash as introspective.

Review - April 2008 - Green Man Review
Peter Cooper is a music journalist in Nashville, and he also turns out to be one hell of a songwriter and singer. He's really a story-teller of the first rank, as he proves in the 10 originals on his album Mission Door.

Cooper's Music Derived from Original Thinking - March 28, 2008 - Daily Gamecock
South Carolina native Peter Cooper returns to Columbia this weekend on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Coffeehouse in support of his new album "Mission Door."

Former Spartanburg resident Cooper to release album at The Showroom - March 27, 2008 -
Peter Cooper's new album, “Mission Door,” opens with “Boy Genius,” a song about realizing that maybe you didn't live up to all that potential you once thought you had.

Peter Cooper, Fayssoux McLean - March 25, 2008 - Columbia Free Times
You might not have heard of either of these Spartanburg-rooted performers, but you’re certainly acquainted with the A-list group of folks that appear on their respective debut albums.

This Week's Playlist: Folk Meets Rock - March 25, 2008 - USAToday
Utterly transfixing country-folk meditation on Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, baseball and the South just in time for opening day.

Mission Door - March 2008 -
It’s incredibly easy to sit here on our critic’s thrown and lob our opinions down the mountain at artists. Our opinions, for what little they’re actually worth, are nearly anonymous.

Mission Door Preview/Review - March 2008 - Nashville Scene
Whether he’s covering it in The Tennessean, discussing it on CMT or teaching about it in a college course, Peter Cooper is always associated with high-quality country, bluegrass and other tradition-steeped music.

Mission Door Review - March 14, 2008 - Washington Post
Peter Cooper has a voice that makes me think of furniture in a roadside motel: a little worn, nothing fancy, but sturdy enough to get the job done. The job in question is delivering moody songs with evocative lyrics.

Opening the Mission Door - February 7, 2008 - Pasadena Weekly
Balance can be mighty elusive for a writer. As a songwriter, you can spend so much time inside your own head that you lose touch with everyday reality. If you write about music, you can get so mired in the deadline grind that you lose track of what inspired you to start writing.

Peter Cooper "Cautionary Tales" - 2008 -
Normally, he's a much recognized music journalist with a good reputation within the industry. But now, it's time for Peter Cooper's debut album, praised by people like Kris Kristofferson and Todd Snider.

Tunes from the Turf - July 25, 2007 - Homer Tribune
Folksy storyteller Peter Cooper, who played early this spring with Nashville performer Todd Snider, returns to open Sunday's show. "I loved it up there," Cooper said from his place in Nashville. "I fell in love with it. I mean, I walked into KBBI and the DJ was practically playing my own record collection."

Pen to Paper, Prose to Performing - June 19, 2006 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
I’ll start with Peter Cooper. I stumbled across his music somewhat by accident recently when he was the unannounced opener for Todd Snider. I didn’t know who Peter Cooper was. I do now and, in my not-so-humble opinion, so should you.

Clown Juice EP - March 16, 2005 -
Somewhere between the surreal memories of life in the 90s and that timeless country sound that now only exists on oldies stations and in my mind lies Peter Cooper. With a nod toward Don Williams and a foot firmly planted in the irony of our more recent musical past, Cooper writes music as if he were witness to things most of us ignore.