Four in the Morning
CLAUDE HOPPER's debut CD 'Four in the Morning' (released in 2001) is a roots rockin' sonic adventure. Filled with the intertwined sounds of rich acoustic and lush overdriven electric instruments, and the rough hewn vocal delivery of singer/songwriter David Cowan, the record oozes with vibe. The songs on the record have been described as 'Big slices of Americana Pie.' Santa Barbara, California-based Claude Hopper features producer David Cowan as the principal songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. The Claude Hopper line-up also features John McInnes on the bass guitar, Andy Webb on lead guitar, Michael Rivers on the drum kit, and Chris Ulep on keyboards. Shows often feature guest appearances by some of the crew who played on the record including Alastair Greene on lead and slide guitar, and Chris Cairns on banjo. Claude Hopper flows with the sounds of alternafolk-truckrockin'-countrifried-bluesy music. The CD was reviewed as follows: Santa Barbara Independent December 13, 2001 Arts & Entertainment Made to be Played in Santa Barbara - Our Roundup of CD's from 2001 by Walt Rego Claude Hopper, Four in the Morning Claude Hopper, alias guitarist-singer-songwriter-graphic artist Dave Cowan, put out a fine CD this year, which lives up to it's title and it's cover artwork. Four in the Morning sports a fancy cover design, with wood grain, a cowboy Van Gogh cover painting of a guitar in a candlelit room, and a loving, almost genuflecting photo of a tube microphone pre-amp on the back. The woodsy, rocking references continue in the music, starting with the tune 'Whisky,' with Cowan singing like a cowhide serenader swathed in blankets of warm, dirty guitars. Things get a little more than country on 'Mud Flap Girl,' replete with pedal steel, banjo, and a C&W lope in a tongue in cheek song about errant desire. Cowan, we mean Hopper, hunkered down in Robinson Eikenberry's studio, to good sonorous effect. Eikenberry seems to have a knack for getting plugged and unplugged instruments to join hands in common cause. The basic Americana rock-folk palette is diverse enough to include the Neil Young influenced 'Trial and Error,' another banjo-flecked treat,' 'On Any Other Day,' and even a dip into reggae-time, on 'Doctor.' But it all hangs together nicely, like a purposeful collage. David Cowan is also performing solo acoustic sets at venues on the West Coast in support of the CD. 'I enjoy playing the solo acoustic shows,' Cowan recently stated, 'it provides the listener an opportunity to hear the songs in the raw... as they were originally written.' An Ohio native, David has been performing with various acts in the greater Santa Barbara, California area since arriving on the scene in 1989. A sampling of acts he has contributed to includes Jah Bone, DNA, Jeff Bisch, Kate Bennett, Nicola Gordon, Earl, Jay Shobe, The Adobe, Tina Schlieske, and more. David has been an active participant in Jim Messina's (Buffalo Springfield, Loggins and Messina, Poco) 'Songwriters Performance Workshops.' David was also a member of the 'On The Couch' series at the Mint in Los Angeles as a singer/songwriter and back-line guitarist.