Best Of The Batch: Copperhead
Live & Lost
Title: Live & Lost
Label: Eastwinds Records
Download: “Whiskey Mama”
Copperhead was one of last hard-edged southern rock bands to leave its mark. They remain a popular band and people still want to hear their music. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to this great music? It’s totally kick ass free spirited rock with a southern flair and energy to spare.
Live & Lost is a combination of live recordings; actually, a live EP they never finished when the band was under contract with Polygram early in their career, and studio cuts that never saw the light of day. Well thanks to vocalist/lead guitar man Neil Carswell, this great music has been unearthed and released for all of the old faithful, and surely an entirely new legion of fans everywhere. They just won over another fan right here.
The power and energy never lets up once on this CD, and that is one of the main reasons I love it so much. Firstly, I have always loved southern rock like Skynrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, all the bands that made a name for themselves during the peak years of the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Well, Cooperhead happened after the fact; they started in 1986 and toured like maniacs for five years - thus the reference to the last of the great southern rock bands. Touring always pays off, it is the best form of PR you could possible hope for.
The tracks that knocked my socks off were “Whiskey Mama,” “Raging Fire,” and “Voices In The Night.” Swept away by this music, I felt compelled to tell Neil Carswell how I felt. When I got to the ninth track, I was ready to burst, so I got on the phone to speak to Neil. He proceeded to give me the short version of the Copperhead legacy. There were many well-known people involved in this album besides the original lineup (see additional personnel).
This CD is a real gem; there is not one dinger on it. Every track is rockin’ hard with incredibly authoritative and cutting guitar leads courtesy of Carswell and band mate Jon Byrd. Carswell’s voice is perfect for this music: he is right out front, in command of the floor, rising above the screaming guitars and potent rhythm section of Tony Hawkins (bass) and Eric Suttlemyre (drums). In addition to that barrage of your senses, the superb keyboard work of Brad Durden gives it all that extra flavor and depth to complete the full meaty sound, complimenting Carswell’s voice on hard driving tracks like “Hard Living” and the moodier cuts with tasteful guitar licks like “Voices In The Night.” This band had one hell of a power packed punch and that makes Live & Lost a newly found and treasured piece of rock history worth having.
02. Get Out Of My Way
03. Hard Living (Live)
04. Born Loser (Live)
05. Whiskey (Live)
06. Keepin' On (Live)
07. Drift Away
08. Whiskey Mama
09. Raging Fire
10. I'll Get By
11. Free Man
12. Voices In The Night
Neil Carswell - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Jon Byrd - Lead Guitar
Brad Durden - Keyboards
Tony Hawkins - Bass
Eric Suttlemyre – Drums
Joe Hardy - acoustic guitar
Rodney Mills - background vocals
For more information and to contact the author, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.
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