Tag Archives: Atlanta

Agent Cooper “From The Ashes” CD Review


By David Lowry

Agent Cooper is a prog rock band from Atlanta, GA that has a gentle throw back sound to some of the classic prog rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s in it’s heyday but at the same time has captured some of the modern sounds of today’s prog monsters with one exception. Agent Cooper understands how to write a hook and make a song radio friendly which many of today prog rockers don’t do either by design or not being able to step out of their own virtuosity and simplify things. Neither is bad, one way has a certain fan base just as the other does. I know when I listen to prog, I am not looking for three-minute songs that are just ear candy. Agent Cooper has done a great job of melding the two together and hopefully on their end being able to capture a much larger audience because of it.

“From The Ashes” is the bands third CD but first with this current line-up. It’s more of an EP really with six songs on it and “The Stand” being the strongest of the six in my personal opinion. It’s a happy song in its melodic structure but a very strong song lyrically in standing up for yourself. It’s an interesting contrast in the way the music is written and the way the lyrics provide a completely different feel. It is an acoustic based song with soaring vocals, an uplifting pre-chorus, a very strong chorus and the use of the B3 organ and keyboards are a nice thing to hear again in today’s music. It’s definitely something we don’t hear enough of with the younger musicians of today.

Agent Cooper have the ability to weave in and out of time changes, key changes and tempo’s with the best of them and it always provides an interesting ride through out the songs, which is really the point of a song. To take you on a journey, the great thing about Agent Cooper is it isn’t just a lyrical journey, it’s a sonic one as well. Singer Doug Busbee brings back a vocal styling sorely missed in today’s rock music. He does his predecessors proud and the band as a whole does a great job with harmony vocals. There are plenty of spots in the songs where this is a highlight and adds a rich color and depth to the music without it ever feeling like they are showing off. This can be said as a whole of all the music and the musicians. The musicianship was brilliant from everyone in the band and played so well that it never took anything away from the song.

I thoroughly enjoyed this EP and am really looking forward to hearing more from this exciting band. A truly stellar effort on their part to bring us a style of music we don’t get enough of. Thank you Agent Cooper for bringing back a style of music that harkens the greatness of the 70’s prog rockers but catapults it into the now.

You can find out more about Agent Cooper at www.agentcooper.com.

At the time of this writing The Lowry Agency and Agent Cooper have no affiliation.

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Hannah Ford – Drums Renaissance Woman


By David Lowry

In our second installment of our “Musician Spotlight” blog we are showcasing an amazing young talent in drummer Hannah Ford. When I say amazing, I mean more than just her ability on her chosen instrument. Having met Hannah, her family, having attended one of her clinics and watching her use of her endorsements, opportunities and social media, this is one artist that has really learned what this business is about and what it takes to make it. More importantly is she hasn’t lost focus on why she does it. As important as the “business” sides of things are in music, Hannah has somehow avoided becoming jaded, negative and still has a childlike love for playing. Hannah attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and still works with multiple Grammy award-winning drummer Paul Wertico to constantly refine her skills. Hannah has also worked with music legends like Jeff Berlin, Wynton Marsalis, Ignacio Berroa and Butch Miles.

From a technical perspective Hannah is road ready for any gig. She has the chops, creativity and energy to drive the bus for any artist or band. Her performances are always energetic, engaging and her smile when playing is just as attention capturing as her skills or performance. She really is the whole package. Being an attractive young female, it would be easy to dismiss her skills and say, “oh, it’s all because of her looks,” which would be an incredible disservice to Hannah. She has substance, skills, and a drive that just wont quit. She works harder than just about any musician I have ever met and leaves you feeling like you have known her all your life when you meet her. She is engaging and most importantly she is there to inspire others. Hannah makes sure she focuses completely on the person she is talking too and you can see her passion for passing on her love of the drums and encouraging others to follow their dreams. She completely understands how to relate to her fan base and how important they are to her.

Currently Hannah is a rock band called “Bellevue Suite,” has a tour she puts on for her “Peace, Love & Drums” multi-media show and recently did some shows with bassist Nik West. Hannah is also doing workshops for Guitar Center, a judge for the “Hit Like a Girl” 2012 contest and is regular a feature on the drumchannel.com. In the recent past she has played with the fusion trio “Pandorum,” played drums for the musical “White Noise” produced by Whoopi Goldberg that ran for two months at the Royal George Theater in Chicago and the Hannah Ford Band.

Hannah and her father/manager Dave Ford with PLAD Productions have done an absolutely incredible job of marketing her without the money that everyone says you need in today’s music industry. Both are dedicated and hard working individuals that strive to make great things happen for Hannah’s career. It also says a lot about their relationship and family dynamic to be able to pull this off without all the drama many entertainment families go through.

Hannah is endorsed by: Gretsch, Zildjian, Gibraltar, Toca, Vater, Kelly Shu Concepts, Shure microphones, Wornstar Clothing, ThunderEcho Drums, Prentice Practice Pads, Roland, MaxHeads Custom Bass Drum Heads, and Evans. Quite honestly, I have never seen an artist work as hard to promote her endorsements and utilizes them to the full potential they should be used. She is one of the few artists the get the power of her endorsements and what you can accomplish with them if you are creative, hard working and are marketing to the hilt.

Hannah is rare jewel in the music world. She understands what it takes, works hard to get there and does it happily. She has set her self up since childhood to be as well rounded a musician as she could be. The breadth of her skills as a drummer, a businessperson, a marketer and being a genuinely nice person to work with are her major strength. While other musicians are out trying to be a rock star, Hannah is a rock star and is also building a career that most will never have because they don’t get it like Hannah does.

For more information about Hannah Ford please check out the following links:

www.hannahforddrums.com

https://twitter.com/#!/hannahforddrums

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Ford-Fan-Page/111758348891232

At the time of this writing The Lowry Agency and Hannah Ford have no affiliation with each other.