The Song Never Dies: Cooper Brothers at Stone Crop Acres

MORRISBURG – In an earlier interview with The Leader, Dick Cooper, one of the founders of the wonderful Cooper Brothers Band, put things this way. “We’re a big band, with seven of us on stage. And we go full bore. Ours is always a big sound. The audience gets the ‘full meal deal’ when the Cooper Brothers are on stage.”

Sunday afternoon, October 2, at Stone Crop Acres Winery, courtesy of Harmony Concerts, nearly 300 people, seated outside under sunny skies, got to hear live one of the most iconic bands in Canadian musical history. And that band fully delivered on their earlier promises. It was a full afternoon of classic rock – and the crowd loved every musical moment.

Noted local musician and song writer, Graham Greer, formerly of the Bar Stool Prophets, opened the afternoon concert with songs that ranged from the deeply personal ‘Wire Walker’ to the sardonic ‘The Front,’ based, he assured the audience, on a “friend who faked his way through university and has a Phd in BS.” Greer, a skilled guitarist, has a gritty, carrying voice. The emotions that colour his songs are evident: he does not hold back when he performs live. He made this clear in ‘Lucky Streak’ when he sang “No time for sortin’ out the don’ts and the do’s/ I’m on a lucky streak and I know I can’t lose…” Later in the concert, he returned to the stage, where he joined the Cooper Brothers for a couple of numbers, and took the lead vocals in the Allman Brothers ‘Not Gonna Let Them Catch Me.’

Then Jan Fox of Harmony Concerts formally introduced the band to the crowd: “Here they are! Living proof that Dreams never Die! The Cooper Brothers!”
From that point on in the concert, the crowd never stopped cheering as Brian and Dick Cooper and the members of the band erupted on to the stage and swept people into a nostalgic musical journey. “We’re going through five decades of songs this afternoon,” Brian Cooper said. “Hope you all remember the Oldies.” They performed ‘Live Just a Little,’ ‘The Last Time I Saw Georgia’ and, of course, their tremendous hit from their East coast travels, ‘Rock n’ Roll Cowboys.’

Band members at Stone Crop Acres were Brian and Dick Cooper, Jeff Rogers, Rob Holtz, John Steele, Darwin Demers, Jeff Rogers and newest addition, Sherri Harding, who shone in a sultry rendition of the Linda Ronstadt classic, ‘Blue Bayou.’ Every band member is a talented instrumentalist, and, with Brian often taking the lead vocals, they were equally at home harmonizing with passion and power on original CB songs and on hits by other great rockers like the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

For the young people attending this Winery event, the Cooper Brothers’ concert was a chance to experience, live, the nature of truly great classic rock: for others in the audience, this concert was a bit like a journey back into the music and the songs that had once shaped their youth. (Although everyone had to laugh when Brian looked out, after a series of hits from the 70’s, and said, “Thank you. You must be very old. Glad to see all that white hair out there.”)

And no Cooper Brothers concert could ever be complete without hearing a song – one which has been adopted by so many musicians over so many years – that wonderful Cooper Brothers ‘anthem,’ “The Dream Never Dies..” If some in the audience actually got a bit teary when the band performed it, this only served to prove the truth of those lyrics.

October 2, 2022, witnessed a memorable concert at Stone Crop Acres by one of rock’s most memorable bands: The Cooper Brothers.

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