Dana Cooper — Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series
Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Dana Cooper.
Americana Highways: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?
Dana Cooper: My favorite morning drink is hot chocolate or Cafe Mocha. But my usual wake up beverage is usually a simple cold glass of water or hot ginger tea.
AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)
DC: Stayed in so many strange places on the road it’s hard to narrow it down. One that stands out off the top of my head is a motel in Myrtle Beach, don’t remember the name. We could see the streetlight through the fissures in the door and when I tried to open the bathroom window the entire window frame fell out onto the ground.
AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?
DC: Healing Bones by Jules Shear. I’m compelled to sing along with every song on this record over and over again. Incredible songwriting, crisp, pop, rock production by Rod Argent and Peter Van Hooke, hooky guitar leads by Elliot Easton, and a terrific cover of “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.”
AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?
DC: Always carry an ice pack.
AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?
DC: I’ve been a pescatarian for many years. I start every tour with an ice chest filled with veggies, salad, a couple of home made meals. After a few days I resort to whatever I can find that’s somewhat healthy in restaurants along the way. In towns that I travel through often there are favorite places I return to. In Austin it’s Taco Express or Curra’s Grill, in Little Rock it’s Boulevard Bakehouse, in Ann Arbor it’s Cafe Zola. Whenever possible I stock up on groceries and eat as much organic food as possible.
AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?
DC: Dingle in County Kerry Ireland is a gathering place for music and musicians. The people there are friendly and gracious plus the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry offer some of the most beautiful sights in the world.
AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?
DC: Brilliant keyboardist and former bandmate Riley Osborne often told me “don’t take any of it too seriously.”
Find all things Dana Cooper, here: https://www.danacoopermusic.com
See other Key to the Highway interviews here: https://americanahighways.org/category/interviews/key-to-the-highway-series/ (click here for: Ben Nichols Bruce Cockburn Charlie Musselwhite Nicki Bluhm Jim White Danny Barnes Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt Sarah Shook & the Disarmers Sadler Vaden )
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