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Stafford Climax Blues Band founder's new album from beyond the grave

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

  • Colin Cooper's new posthumous album features previously unheard tracks

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AN ALBUM of previously unheard recordings six years ago will be released on Monday (10).

Colin Cooper, founding member of the Climax Blues Band, left a cache of recordings which were found in a cupboard by his family.

On Monday (10) a new album, From the Vaults, featuring 14 tracks will be released nearly six years after his death in July 2008.

A new website – www.colincooperproject.com will also launch on Monday featuring unseen photos, touring schedules, original handwritten lyrics to 1976 number 10 hit Couldn't Get it Right and other songs, posters, information on the early days at AIR studios, equipment, press archives, ticket stubs, vinyl all CBB releases and rare (and fun) CBB facts.

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Among them are details of a gig at the Top of the World (now Couture) to save The Ancient High House on November 9, 1976.

The event raised £1,700 – more than £10,000 in today’s money.

His son Ben said: “We were clearing my dad’s things away and we found all these tapes and we didn’t know what to do with them.

“They had to be painstakingly repaired, they had been in the cupboard since 1995.

“They had a lot of vocals and guitar on them.”

The family sent them off and along the way former Climax band mate Les Hunt added extra guitar tracks.

In the 1970s the band spent increasing amounts of time in Europe and the USA. American tours afforded guitarist/vocalist/sax player Cooper the opportunity to visit the cities of the music that was his great inspiration.

Best remembered for their international smash hit, Couldn’t Get It Right, released in 1976, the Climax Blues Band had been around since the mid-1960s, releasing albums as the Climax Chicago Blues Band on the famousHarvest Records label before truncating their name.

Although a regular touring band in the UK and a consistently top draw on the thriving seventies British college circuit, as the decade wore on, they spent increasing

amounts of time in Europe and the USA.

American tours afforded guitarist /vocalist /sax player Colin Cooper the opportunity to visit the cities of the music that was his great inspiration.

From The Vaults was assembled from a cache of home tapes by Cooper’s son, Ben, in association with Dominic Owen, whose CV includes projects with Li’l Kim, Notorious B.I.G., Nas and Rakim.

The project is a real labour of love for all concerned. On From The Vaults, Cooper showed how he spent his down time wisely, laying down the tracks at home.

Naturally, there’s Blues aplenty including songs from Robert Johnson (Rambling On My Mind, Walkin’ Blues), Big Bill Broonzy (Key To The Highway),

John Lee Hooker (One Roomed Country Shack) some Tony Joe White songs and a dip into the catalogue of the Sage of Tippo, Mississippi himself, Mose Allison (the superbly sardonic I’m Not Downhearted

(But I’m Getting There)).

Mr Cooper passed away on July 3, 2008,

His son Ben, who manages his back catalogue, said: “I just contacted Repertoire Records and asked them what they thought. I sent them some MP3s and they loved it. The next thing I knew I was signing a record deal.

“For us more than anything when you lose someone there’s lots of things you think of and just being able to hear your father’s voice is quite nice.”

The album will be available on iTunes and other digital download sites from Monday.

Fellow band member Pete haycock died last year. The Climax Blues Band continues to play to this day with George Glover, Lester Hunt (who played guitar on Colin Cooper Project) having accrued more than 30 CBB years service each.

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