Citizen Cope (full band show)

With THE RAINWATER LP, Citizen Cope offers the clearest distillation yet of his distinct musical approach, a laidback gumbo of acoustic blues, singer/songwriter rock 'n' roll and deep soul grooves. Born Clarence Greenwood, but known to friends and fans as simply "Cope," the Brooklyn-based artist has crafted an album redolent of such classic tunesmiths as Randy Newman and Stevie Wonder – both major touchstones for his emotively penned songs. As such, it's virtually impossible to put a finger on Citizen Cope's idiosyncratically inimitable sound.

"The only way to explain my music is to say you gotta listen to it," Greenwood says. "I don't think there is any easy description of it. Somebody once said something about 'urban folk,' which I wasn't mad at."

THE RAINWATER LP comes nearly four years after Citizen Cope's acclaimed 2006 third album, EVERY WAKING MOMENT. Not that Greenwood wasn't busy – the hard-touring troubadour spent much of that time on the road, introducing fans new and old to his already substantial body of work.

"It was longer than I'd expected between records," he says, "but it was like a culmination of all the records getting into peoples' psyche. I just kept on touring, doing songs from all three records, and then I started getting ideas for songs. I got inspired to make another album and put it out myself."

Since making his official debut, Cope had released three fine albums on three different labels, an experience which proved frustrating, to say the very least. Having been through the industry mill, this time Greenwood was determined to take the bull by the horns and release the album himself.

"A lot of labels wanted to put it out," he explains, "but I kept hearing things like 'Retail's gonna need you to do this' or 'The artwork has to be like this.' I don't want to be led into those confines anymore. I want to be able to do it my own way. Being able to operate efficiently, not having to move buildings to do anything, just seems so basic for any artistic endeavor."

Like the music therein, THE RAINWATER LP – as well as Citizen Cope's new RainWater Recordings, Inc. – takes its name from a number of deeply personal sources. "It's pure," Greenwood says. "It's also the name of someone that was close to me when I was growing up, so it just made sense."


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Citizen Cope (full band show)

Tuesday, July 23 · 9:00 PM at Bottle & Cork

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