This article is about the songwriter.  For the Old West Texas Ranger and later outlaw best known for his association with gunman Johnny Ringo, see

Scott Richard Cooley (born June 21, 1967 in Flint, Michigan) is an American songwriter best known for having a website that says he is one, and also for the fact that his recordings are available for sale in online music stores.  Primarily an acoustic rock musician, Scott enjoys recording himself singing and playing instruments on songs he's written, then releases the best of those recordings as albums every two years.  He released his debut full-length album Moon Dreams in 2004 at the age of 37, to non-existent notice.  In 2006, he released the sophomore effort record Lakeside Landing, which was again largely ignored.  

Then, in 2008, he released the Drive Time Companion album, once again to little fanfare.  By the time 2010 came around, he yet again released another album, Sense Of Belonging, that hardly anybody ended up becoming aware of at all.  Due out in mid-2012 is Scott's fifth LP, Cherchez La Femme (a working title), which like its predecessors, Scott plans to make available for sale to the public, hoping someone might find out about it by visiting his website, or by discovering it in one of the online stores, and then purchase it.  Despite sporadic, free marketing/advertising opportunities he has occasionally found and taken advantage of on the world wide web, they have not proven to be advantageous in any way, and as a result, Scott has yet to develop much of a following or fanbase for his music.  

His mailing list is an incredibly small one, experiencing growth at a rate so discouragingly slow that it has proven to be of nominal importance as a tool to increase interest in his music.  As a songwriter and home recording hobbyist who does not perform in public at all yet alone tour, he still continues to offer the mailing list for those who want to occasionally learn of Scott's songwriting and recording activities as well as his album releases and locations where they may be purchased in web music stores.  With an attitude that simply not giving up will somehow eventually reverse the trend of unsuccessful album releases, Scott continues to look for ways to make contact with the outside world with the hope that it might translate into increased traffic to his website and increased music sales figures.  

Scott is primarily a bedroom, do-it-yourself musician who has self-released several record albums on his independent Scott Cooley Records label, which can be purchased in numerous popular stores on the internet such as, Google Play and iTunes.  Despite the wide availability and reasonable prices, to date, his entire catalog of released material has been met with almost total commercial indifference.  Through making acquaintances aware of his recordings via social networking, he has managed to achieve some actual sales of his albums in recent months, both as compact discs and MP3 downloads, but such efforts have failed to improve the overall fortunes of his work as an independent recording artist.  Scott has wisely kept his costs extremely low so that his investment in his instruments, home studio recording equipment and digital distribution have been modest and affordable.
Scott Cooley
Scott Cooley sporting Billboard Song Contest T-Shirt "award" in East Lansing, Michigan, 2008.
Background information
Born June 21st, 1967
Flint, MI, US
Birth name Scott Richard Cooley
Also known as Tiger, Scottopher, Scooter, Cool Breeze, Cools, Cooleymon, Scotty, Homeslice, Boo
Genres acoustic rock, garage rock, heartland rock, tropical rock, folk, Americana
Occupations Technical Writer (day), Songwriter (night)
Instruments acoustic guitar, lap steel, vocals, bass, harmonica, marimba, drums
Years active as songwriter
Labels Cool Breeze Records
Scott Cooley Records
Associated acts Corbin Daugherty, Surreal, Eric Whirley, The Bus Drivers, Steve Cobb, Scott Thompson, Driftwood, Lake Effect, Acoustic Jones, Rich Marr
Notable instruments Ovation non-upright acoustic bass guitar, Weissenborn Hawaiian acoustic lap steel guitar

Early life and career

Scott's early musical life involved taking about five piano lessons at a young age, then quitting.  He sang in mandatory elementary school choir, and once in a Presbyterian church choir, but his only contribution was lip-synching.  Also from his early childhood, he remembers his favorite songs from the first mix tape he made from recording the radio were Bus Stop by the Hollies and My Beautiful Balloon by The Fifth Dimension.  As his appreciation of music matured, he particularly enjoyed his parents' vinyl records of John Denver and The Beach Boys.  

As he began to collect his own records at about the age of 10 (1977) he remembers his favorites as being Kiss - Alive II, Boston, and the Beatles blue album (which was blue in color).  His high school years involved developing an appreciation for live rock music at Pine Knob, an outdoor ampitheater at a ski area in Clarkston, Michigan.   He mainly enjoyed what was considered hard rock at this time, but also discovered Neil Young from a friend's older brother's collection, which he very much enjoyed.  

Later in college, he was both introduced to the concept of open microphone night events at parties and live music shows from touring folk artists.  During college he bought his first acoustic guitar - a cheap, used Yamaha from a pawn shop in Flint.  After learning some chords there and moving to Colorado to ski, Scott became a member of some living room bands where he enjoyed playing long instrumental lead guitar solos during cover songs of blues and rock tunes, while also becoming a regular open mic performer with bands, duos, and performing his originals solo.  

Eventually, he landed some paid gigs at bars, most notably as the apres-ski entertainment at a slopeside saloon in Vail as half of an acoustic duo act playing popular classic rock covers.  More and more, he gravitated to writing his own songs rather than memorizing popular songs written by others, and eventually came to enjoy recording them, first on cassettes, and then progressing to digital as free time and spare spending money would allow.  What started as a fascination with simply having a creative hobby became something he couldn't go long without doing.

Private Life

Scott married his wife Lenore in 2003.  Together, they enjoy their golden retriever, Lucky, as well as skiing, travel and other activities typical for married life.  They value occasional get-togethers with friends and family in their home state of Michigan.  Scott also enjoys occasional sailing as an invited guest (not a sailboat owner), windsurfing, hiking, hacky-sack, frisbee, and playing tennis.  He is a technical writer by vocation, and also enjoys writing poetry, blogging, and maintaining his personal website when not writing and recording songs.

Music style, instrumentation and influences

Scott's music style is marked by songs that are quite varied in time signature, tempo, structure, rhyme pattern and subject matter.  Genres that Scott's songs might be categorized as include rock, folk, Americana, norteno, roots rock, folk-rock, garage rock, heartland rock, adult contemporary, punk, funk, rap, tropical rock, zydeco, reggae, island, surf rock, rhythm & blues, blues, ballad and instrumental.  Combinations of this variety can be found on each album, though each is titled and based on a single theme.  Similarly, the songs on his albums show some variety in instrumentation from song to song, some featuring either marimba, lap style slide guitar, harmonica, or accordion for melodies, intros, and solos, while some featuring those same instruments as fills or harmonic rhythm accompaniment.  

On the other hand, if there is a signature Scott Cooley sound, the constants that can be heard on most of his recordings are the distinct playing of acoustic rhythm guitar, acoustic bass guitar, snare drum and djembe.  Additional percussion instruments used on occasion are maracas, cowbell, tambourine, congas, bongos, wood slit drum, hi-hat cymbal and washboard.  Always present is the clear and warm quality of Scott's baritone voice on lead and background vocals.  Scott's recordings occasionally feature his lovely wife Lenore on background vocals, keyboards, marimba and accordion.  All other instruments, including some marimba, Scott plays himself.  Scott has had no formal training and is completely self-taught in all aspects of his music hobby.

Like his music style, Scott's influences are many and varied, but most prominently involve great rock songs by great rock songwriters such as Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jagger/Richards, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, James Taylor, Robbie Robertson, John Fogerty, Led Zeppelin, Mark Farner, Bob Seger, Ramones, Violent Femmes, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty and Jack White to name a few.

Songwriter/Recording Artist/Record Producer

Scott has written hundreds of songs since 1989 when he started teaching himself how to play guitar.  About a year or so after starting to write songs, he started recording himself singing and playing them on guitar using a tape recorder. As he added instruments and upgraded his recording equipment over the years, he progressed as both a songwriter and record producer.  Currently, he has a home studio where he records himself performing his own songs in a computer-based digital multi-track environment that includes microphones, an audio interface, and editing software.  He uses this to produce compact discs and downloadable songs and albums that he makes available for sale online.  He does absolutely everything involved in this process himself, except for guest background vocals, keyboard and accordion by his wife Lenore.  These activities include songwriting, producing, publishing, rights administration, playing all the instruments, singing all the vocals, recording, engineering, mixing, mastering, artwork, packaging, and delivery for distribution.

Unreleased recordings

Several long recordings made by Scott Cooley and his various collaborators over the years remain unreleased, including early cassettes from his bands Surreal, Daugherty & Cooley, Cobb & Cooley, and The Bus Drivers.  Sadly, most of these are believed to be lost.  Also unreleased, but in Scott's possession, are numerous hours of recorded material - many of which included extended jams - of his bands Driftwood, Lake Effect, and Acoustic Jones, all of which also featured songwriter/guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player and music journalist Rich Marr.  Scott has solo cassette archives of his first take catalog that include both early versions of released songs, and unreleased songs that number in the hundreds.  Finally, Scott has hours of digitally recorded originals that remain unreleased - what he refers to as his "borderline keepers" as well as Scott Cooley (his self-titled debut album), a previously-released but now out of print album called Homegrown (bootlegs are rumored to be in circulation), and a holiday/Christmas covers album titled A Cooley Christmas (update - "released" for free on YouTube and Google+ in 2011).


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External Links

    Scott Cooley on MusicBrainz - a community-maintained open source encyclopedia of music information.

     Scott Cooley

    Scott Cooley  |  Lenore Cooley
      |  Lucky Cooley

     Studio albums
    Moon Dreams  |  Lakeside Landing  |  Drive Time Companion  |  Sense Of Belonging  |  Cherchez La Femme  |
    Used To Be Good Looking 
     Live albums
     Compilation albums
     Holiday albums
     A Cooley Christmas
     Awarded works
     See also
     SCDb - the Scott Cooley Database
     Related articles
     Discography  |  Albums  |  Songs  |  Audio samples

    Categories Scott Will Probably Never Be Listed In:  Songwriters from Michigan  |  American singer-songwriters  |  Musicians from Michigan  |  People from Flint, Michigan