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Scott Richard Cooley (born June 21st, 1967) is an American songwriter and musician who writes, records, and sells acoustic albums and songs in online music stores. He sings and plays several instruments – including guitar, bass, drums, harmonica and marimba on his recordings. In contrast to the perfect sound of today’s commercial music which employs synthesizers, electronic drums and pitch-correction software, Scott only uses real acoustic instruments and microphones to record with.

Although Scott Cooley is a passionate singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he doesn’t take songwriting, playing music or singing too seriously. His style isn’t limited to a specific genre, and as a result his albums hold the listener’s attention and appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes. Like the albums themselves, Scott’s appeal is the total package rather than his being great at one aspect of being a musician. He doesn’t sweat the details too much, and that’s part of the appeal - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

With a noticeable competency in his craft, Scott's focus has always been on putting together interesting songs over practicing to become a great live performer. Although he’s not a complete stranger to entertaining a crowd – he has done so to the point of generating unprovoked group sing-alongs, uproarious laughter and mass spontaneous applause - it’s never been about paying dues as a touring act for Scott. He’s never been into memorizing songs, whether they be cover songs or his own.

Rather than try to impress with vocal chops or guitar wizardry, the pleasure of coming up with new material is what motivates him, and it is songwriting that dominates his free time. That motivation has shaped his approach to recording as well. He prefers efficiency over perfection, producing recordings that are only adequate enough to represent his vision of a song so as to maximize time spent on writing.

While his records are obviously those of an untrained amateur “do-it-all-yourselfer” with limited natural talent, it is because of this that there is a lot to like about his music. The decidedly unpolished quality is refreshingly real. The fact that there is no attempt to mask imperfections allows the emotional aspects to ring true with authenticity.

One reason the songs are appealing is because the lyrical content offers a wide variety of subject matter. There are thought-provoking songs, sad songs, and humorous songs - and even when covering somewhat serious topics, it is delivered from a lighthearted perspective. Another reason the songs are appealing is because there is something for everyone musically as well - as this acoustic music has hints of hard rock, blues, folk, country, and world music with catchy melodies and instrumental breaks that clearly shine through the minimal instrumentation and production. Whether the music makes you laugh, cry, or think, it touches you in some way, and through simplicity Scott Cooley does his job as an artist well.

Scott can be introspective yet universal when dealing with heartbreak or wanderlust, providing an escape into a casual, mellow world guided by both an exciting spirit of adventure and at the same time a calm joy for life. Whether you’re lost in deep contemplation or charged with fist-pumping adrenaline, listening to Scott Cooley’s music offers many of those knowing “smile w/ head-nod” moments in between, where you’re going to know that certain points of certain songs probably caused the same reaction with many a listener out there, just as they did for Scott himself.

As of 2012, Scott has self-released five full-length record albums, made available for sale in several formats, including CD and MP3. Perhaps his most notable composition is the song "Mackinac Island," the title of which is also the name of a real place – an actual island in Lake Huron which is a popular tourist destination in the state of Michigan. With a Caribbean feel and lighthearted humor, it became a regional best-seller in online music stores where individual songs could be purchased for download.

The song was released in 2006 on perhaps his most notable album, "Lakeside Landing," which combined several loosely-related styles of songs into a cohesive whole while helping to perhaps define a modern example of acoustic rock music in the great lakes region. Including elements of reggae, Hawaiian, Calypso, surf rock, folk, sea shanty, Motown and rock music, the Great Lakes culture is reflected while possible influences such as Gordon Lightfoot and Jimmy Buffet became apparent. This stylistic blend, sequenced to enhance the album listening experience through variety, proved to be a somewhat unconventional concept that was difficult to categorize while remaining unusual enough to deserve attention.

It is also noteworthy that Scott is self-taught in all aspects of music - which include songwriting, singing, playing several instruments, arranging, producing, recording, mixing, mastering, and distributing his music online. With his own home studio and independent record label, he has managed to gain a small and slowly-growing audience for his music primarily through web recommendation and word-of-mouth advertising.

As a self-contained solo recording artist, Scott was among the first wave of musicians to self-educate enough to get his music – from the song idea to the finished product - in online stores single-handedly. In the late 90s, as recording equipment and personal computers became more affordable, and as the internet and social networking became more widespread, purchasing digital music on the web became popular with portable devices like the iPod and stores like iTunes.

Just as he was one of the first to successfully burn CDs of his own original albums, Scott was poised to be among the first to learn how to get his self-produced music in online stores via inexpensive distribution and at the same time use the web for self-promotion via a personal website - which he also created himself. As such, he was one of the first non-performing songwriters and home recording hobbyists to get people to notice and buy his music without touring or the promotional support of an established record company. Uncommon at the time, the fact that he was able to figure all of this out in and of itself was notable, but then to do it all with such a modest investment was perhaps even more so. In this way, Scott was a DIY pioneer in the early 2000s.

As Scott's efficient recording process became a source of both inspiration and curiosity among other songwriters and recording hobbyists, the sharing of his approach on his website and blogs garnered recognition and praise for this skill, which at the same time brought more interest in his music.  Not only were his accomplishments in learning technologies quickly inspirational, but his ability to write about them were perhaps even more inspirational, as it inspired other bedroom musicians and closet songwriters to set up home recording studios in their basements and attempt to write and record their songs in a similar manner.

Quick information for Writers/Editors/Bloggers/Podcasters to copy & paste from:

Single Sentence Bio

Scott Cooley is a non-performing songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Michigan who self-releases albums and aspires to sell songs to major label recording artists seeking songs to cut for their upcoming albums.

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Scott's songs sell based on word of mouth advertising, and they are the unique selling point.  Also unique is the fact that Scott is a one man show (demo production, publishing, licensing, etc.), and this site is a one stop shop for all such dealings.  Like some non-performing songwriters, Scott is a digital recording artist himself, and you can buy Scott's versions of his own songs on the Store page of this site, and in many other online stores.  The Home page displays two relevant sections:  'Who is Scott?', and 'What kinds of songs?'.  These sum it up pretty well, but you have to listen to the songs understand that the songs are not just great as recorded by Scott (which you can easily get hooked on), but they are also appropriate for today's star recording artists to record and release.  Check out the Samples page to listen to them, and the Licensing page to get a license to record them.

50 Words or Less Bio

Scott Cooley is a guy from Michigan who writes and records songs using an acoustic guitar as his primary instrument.  He is a self-taught musician who used to play lead guitar in some living room bands and duos who had some paying gigs at public venues when he was in his early twenties.  In his later twenties, he progressed to writing and performing songs solo at open microphone nights at coffee shops and bars.  From his thirties until now, he has continued to write songs and now records them and releases albums and songs for sale in online stores.  He has also entered a songwriting contest or two, and along the way has contemplated having studio musicians and vocalists record more professional sounding demos of his best songs for the purpose of pitching them to famous artists who are looking for songs to record, or to music supervisors on film projects who are looking for songs to place in films.
Scott Cooley,
Sep 30, 2013, 9:25 PM