The Bluebird Cafe, an unassuming one-room venue off of 21st Avenue in Nashville, is easy to pass by unless you’re aware of the richness and lore of its musical history.
Legendary artists such as Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, and Taylor Swift (and many more) have performed under the quaint lights of the famed Bluebird, which offers an intimate setting made for the visceral enjoyment of music, fitting about 90 people.
Amongst the dim lighting, friendly chatter, and warm atmosphere of the venue, a hush fell over the audience when singer-songwriter Dana Cooper took the stage this past Wednesday, acoustic guitar in hand.
Cooper, friendly and at-ease, showcased his many musical talents and quickly got comfortable. He played old gems along with new songs off his upcoming album, I Can Face the Truth (out February 18th), and took requests from the audience, all while telling the stories and tidbits of how these songs came into existence.
He began his performance with the 2021 release, “Always Old Friends”, captivating the crowd with his mesmerizing acoustic guitar skills. He proceeded to play the title song off the impending album, capturing the essence of his new music.
Another notable moment occurred when Cooper strapped a harmonica on and covered a Hank Williams Sr. classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. Discussing Williams’ influence on his life, Cooper effortlessly played the harmonica and guitar, winning over the room quickly.
“Ours For a Little While”, an ode to the sorrows of seeing a loved one suffer from addiction, had the crowd singing along, as well as the fan favorite, “Standing In My Own Way”.
A comedic moment occurred when Cooper, a natural storyteller, told the story of how the song, “Incendiary Kid,” came to be.
Hailing from Independence, Missouri, hometown of former President Harry Truman, Cooper said he once threw a cherry bomb on Truman’s front porch, which caused him to get in trouble with the police, which got a roar of laughter from the audience. At this point, he had the crowed in his pocket.
Ending the show with “Rainy Day in Portland”, Cooper had the audience hanging on his every poetic word, igniting excitement for his new album, I Can Face The Truth, and his upcoming tour.