Oysterband's Ray Cooper on his own

By IH 05/04 Updated: 12/04 11:59

Buy photos » Oysterband's Ray Cooper goes it alone at The Merchant's Inn. (s)

RAY Cooper, known to most as Chopper, plays the Merchant's In on April 16.

Bassist, cellist and more Cooper has been a long-standing member of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners Oysterband, who have released 18 albums, toured 27 countries and transformed the face of folk.

But at the Little Church Street venue he will be showcasing his debut solo album Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging.

The album features self-penned songs alongside traditional material from his homeland of Scotland and

Sweden, where it was recorded, and produced by Cooper, in a small log cabin.

He accompanied himself on cello, harmonium, guitar, mandolin, mandola, harmonica and kantele while friend, neighbour and fiddle player Patrik Andersson - Norwegian Folk Awards’ best dance album winner - helped out with string arrangements, contributing violin, viola and hardanger fiddle. The recordings were then brought back to Brighton for some polishing off.

Copper cites many influences from T-Bone Burnett and Enio Morricone to Johnny Cash and June Tabor to name but a few, but the tone of the album is very much his own.

"This is a terrific album, one that you will carry with you down the days," wrote RootsWorld.

While FolkWord wrote: "With this album of dark, shadowy folk, Ray has nailed a spectacular flag to the folk music mast and many, many fans will sign up to join its colours.This will become a classic of the genre."

Tickets are £12, and the music starts at 8pm. Visit www.merchantsinn.co.uk or call 01788 571119 for details.

* BLUESY modern rockers One Eyed Jack play The House on April 20.

Think Black Keys, White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age. Joining them will be Toba Caldera and DJs.

Music starts at 9.30pm at the North Street venue. Admission is free.

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