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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » Cooper Shea - 2015 Partners In Time
Cooper Shea - 2015 Partners In Time

ARTIST: Cooper Shea
ALBUM: Partners In Time
LABEL: Blue Tiger
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: D. H Cooper - guitars, Gary Shea - bass, Herman Rarebell - drums Pete French - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Thank You, Good Night * 02 High Danger * 03 Orange * 04 Move It * 05 Don't Make Angels Cry * 06 Nickels And Dimes * 07 Hazer Baba * 08 Getting Ready * 09 Eastern Light * 10 Voices * 11 The Crossing


The origins of this album go back as far as 1973. Two young aspiring musicians, Gary Shea (New England/Alcatrazz) and Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions) relocated to England in search of other like minded musicians in order to form a group to fulfil their musical ambitions. Here they teamed up with guitarist D.H Cooper and completing the line up was vocalist Pete French, who after fronting Atomic Rooster and Cactus and playing alongside the likes of Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, was also looking for another challenge. But fate (or rather UK customs) was to play a part in the fledging group not getting very far, as Shea and Rarebell experienced Visa problems and returned somewhat reluctantly to their respective countries. They had in their short time together attracted attention from the celebrated Robert Stigwood organisation who had funded initial rehearsals and recording sessions at CBS Studios. Through the intervening years the various musicians found their way in the music business with varying degrees of success, but they had never forgotten their time together back in England in the early 70's, and in 2012 D.H Cooper contacted Gary Shea again with a view to recording together again and bought on board both Rarebell, who has added some drumming to the album and Pete French, who has also helped out by laying down a few vocal tracks. This endearing friendship between the musicians has now resulted in the very aptly named album 'Partners In Time'.

The Songs
Aside from the tracks 'High Danger', 'Nickels and Dimes', this album is instrumental in nature, and given the pedigree of those involved the playing and arrangements are of course of the highest calibre. D.H Cooper proves himself to be a guitarist of subtlety and guile, and as such his playing allows the other main players contributions to breathe and also give off the whole album an air of spontaneity and fun. There are many stand-out moments on show to be had, 'Orange' with its insistent, strutting riff, 'Don't Make Angels Cry' which is a slow burner and ably demonstrates what a soulful, beguiling player Cooper is. 'Gettin' Ready' has some mid 70s Aerosmith type riffage going on, and 'Eastern Light' as the title implies has a distinct eastern flavour to it. In truth, all the tracks here have something to offer any self respecting hard rock fan. Repeated listens to the album keep bringing the classic 70's Aerosmith to mind, which can't be a bad thing can it? Cooper's playing is prominent throughout but as I mentioned earlier it still allows space and time for Shea and Rarebell to shine and as befitting 2 fine musicians their contribution to this project is undeniable, and the 2 tracks that Pete French contributes to could possibly be made up to a full albums worth next time round maybe guys? I hope there is a next time as this is an exquisite album which is a very worthwhile, classy release.

In Summary
It was a very pleasant surprise to receive this album from Gary Shea a while back, and has received a lot of my attention these past few weeks. Only available at present as a download from the usual platforms ITunes, Amazon etc. this is an excellent slice of largely instrumental hard rock and well worth investigation. Nice one lads!!

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