With a good, solid rainfall a few hours before Alberta-based musician Devin Cooper was set to take the stage in West Stettler Park, the evening was guaranteed to be a damp and soggy one.
The Wednesday, Aug. 3 show went on as scheduled, though it was for a small audience brave enough to dare the wet, puddled ground and the possibility that more rain would come down on their heads. Determined to enjoy the music, the audience set up lawn chairs and had their umbrellas ready just in case.
“I think (Music in the Park) is great,” he said. “It’s something different, and I don’t know of any other places that have music weekly in the park. It’s good to get outside and in the fresh air.”
Cooper’s music, a mix of covers and original music, sticks close to the bluesy, rock’n’roll music of his youth. The music was what Cooper said he grew up listening to during those formative years growing up in Innisfail. From the moment he picked up his guitar, he did his best to emulate his rock’n’roll idols, from AC/DC’s Angus Young to Eric Clapton.
“From the time I was little, I just loved music,” Cooper said. “I grew up in a family where there was always music on. I wanted a guitar when I was five, and I nagged my parents for two years before they decided I really wanted it and got me my first guitar.”
Cooper started playing the guitar when he was seven, and for the past three years has been writing and recording his own songs. He first hit the stage in 2013 at 17 — too young to play in the aspiring musician’s usual first rung of the ladder — the bar.
Since then, Cooper’s put more than 70 shows under his belt, performing around central Alberta and crossing the border to play in Arizona in the US.
Basement Blues, Cooper’s debut album, was released in 2013, and through iTunes and radio airplay, he’s been working to build his fan base.
Despite being a full-time student as SAIT and playing gigs, Cooper also managed to earn a semi-finalist finish at the Ranchmans in the Country 105 Rising Star Search. He’s now back in the studio, as well as landing big-time gigs like the Calgary Stampede and the Boyce Theatre. He also finished in the top 6 of the Nashville North Star 2016 search.