Inquiring Minds

Peter Cooper: Nashville Scholar, Fake Hillbilly Hater

The senior music writer and columnist for Nashville daily The Tennesseean and a professor of country music history at Vanderbilt University, Peter Cooper also steps out as a performing songwriter when his schedule permits. He rolls into town Friday night at McGonigel's Mucky Duck as part of a duo with Last Train Home front man Eric Brace.

Cooper and Brace both have individual efforts on CD, but they've also recorded an album together, You Don't Have To Like Them Both, as well as a recent collaboration that produced the just released Tom T. Hall tribute album, I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow, in which they and other guests cover all the tracks ("Sneaky Snake," "Dance of the One-Legged Chicken" on Hall's 1974 LP Songs of Fox Hollow.

Selected by the Nashville Scene as one of the Ten Most Interesting People In Nashville last year, Cooper also recently wrote a stinging Tennessean piece entitled "Country Boys Are Wearing Out Calling Cards," in which he laid bare the emptiness of the average so-called country music song.

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