Love Your Local Band

Scott Cooper and the Barrelmakers

LYLB-1538-barrelmakersMany locals know local musician Scott Cooper as the rhythm guitarist for Grateful Dead tribute act China Cats. But Cooper also plays in a bunch of other bands—and even writes his own music. In fact, it was the success of China Cats that gave him the push to put together his own group, Scott Cooper and the Barrelmakers. He had already recorded a solo record, but started rounding up musicians for gigs.

“I wouldn’t say it’s tailored to Deadheads, but it should appeal to Deadheads. I think it would appeal to people that like Phish or String Cheese or jam bands, but I don’t think it sounds like any of those, per se,” Cooper says.

A lot of Cooper’s influences are the very same styles of music that influenced Grateful Dead’s eclectic sound, including bluegrass, R&B, blues, soul, classic country and New Orleans jazz. Cooper particularly likes to champion the older artists that inspired the ’60s/’70s rock ’n’ roll movement.

“I’ve always felt that musicians should skip trying to learn from Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin. They should go right back to the source and play some T-Bone Walker and Freddy King and Lonnie Johnson and all the masters. I always have a lot of respect for guys that have obviously done their homework,” Cooper says. 

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $8. 603-2294

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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