By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

October 27, 2005

At 7 p.m. Nov. 3, 2005, at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $8. 314-773-3363.

Kansas City-reared Dana Cooper is another singer-songwriter who somehow has remained below the mainstream music radar since he began performing in 1973. After moving to Texas and spending five years as a duo with Shake Russell and then five more in the rock band Dana Cooper's DC3, he moved to Nashville and went solo, releasing several albums that were critically well received. "Made of Mud" is Cooper's latest CD, a work that includes songs from throughout his career and a timely cover of Woody Guthrie's outlaw-against-the-system classic, "Pretty Boy Floyd." The music on "Mud" is rooted more in folk rock than country rock, and the CD is topical without being political, spiritual without being religious. In fact, tunes such as the 30-year-old Cooper-Russell song "Step Into the Light," "Sit This One Out," "Comic Tragedy" and "World of Hurt" assail both fundamentalist religion and politics, urging individual responsibility as a cure for the sad state of the world. Cooper mixes in some beautiful love ballads for a touching, thought-provoking and often-rocking CD.