His new album, Lightning Heart, comes out on September 29th
There’ve been plenty of country singers who’ve written songs about being a cowboy, but how many of them can actually call themselves one?
Texas-born, Nashville-based Ross Cooper is a storyteller, a dreamer, and a former professional rodeo horse rider who has lived the life he writes about in his songs. His third album, Lightning Heart, is a bouillabaisse of guitar rock, calm folk and seasoned Americana that’s imbued with Cooper’s cowboy way with hints of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt in the mix.
“I’m a cowboy, and that’s always been a huge part of my ethos, and it’s absolutely inspired my songwriting,” he proclaims. “But at my core, I’m a writer and storyteller. It’s the part of me that has endured and makes me feel like I have a purpose. It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite on this album. Every song is a page out of my life that I’m excited to share with people.”
Rock & Roll Globe is proud to share one of the deeper cuts off Lightning Heart in “Life’s Too Short To Live In Dallas,” a tune that Cooper says came to him on an airplane trip.
“I was on an early morning flight out of Nashville,” he tells us. “Those flights are a lot like leaving Vegas, what with all the hungover bachelorettes, tourists, etc. Before take-off, there was a really loud, obnoxious guy sitting a few rows behind me who was clearly hitting on the 20-something woman sitting next to him. She kept shutting him down, and he wasn’t taking the hint. He asked her, “Honey, now, where you from?” She answered shortly, “Dallas.” He replied, “Awww honey, life’s too short to live in Dallas.’
“It caught my ear, and I realized there was a reason that both of us were on that flight. If you open yourself up to the possibility that song ideas can come from the most unlikely of places sometimes, then they will. I thought to myself, I love that as a title, and I wrote most of the song right then. Plus, it falls right in line with the tongue-in-cheek ethos of West Texans to be suspicious of anything east of Fort Worth. It’s about any place that’s the Goliath to your David.”
With “Life’s Too Short to Live in Dallas” and the whole new album in general, the second generation cowboy proves he’s just as adept in the storyteller square as he is in the rodeo arena. And the result is his finest work to date.
“Lightning Heart has meant the most to me yet,” he tells Rock & Roll Globe. “It’s tested me beyond comparison, and I’m better on the other side of it. I think I’ve learned to be witty when the album needed levity but honest and heartfelt in the more serious moments.”
Listen to “Dallas” below.
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