Working as a duo since 2010, Gerry Cooper & Phil Snell offer a repertoire of blues, rags and hokum songs from the 1920s and 30s, supplemented occasionally by their own compositions in similar styles.
The duo play a wide range of instruments in their shows: Gerry plays 6- and 12-string guitars, resophonic slide guitar and harmonica, while Phil plays guitar, mandolin and fiddle. Both men sing.
Based on a foundation of hugely varied musical experience (jazz, classical, rock, folk, blues, musicals, Cajun, old-timey and church music figure in their individual histories), Gerry and Phil concentrate on the cheerful uptempo sounds of ragtime blues (Blind Blake and Blind Boy Fuller), hokum (Tampa Red and The Hokum Boys) and the great jugbands (the Memphis Jug Band, Dallas String Band, the Mississippi Sheiks). Old-timey (Charlie Poole, the Cedar Creek Sheik) is also represented.
Gerry and Phil have lost count of the pubs and clubs they’ve played around West Yorkshire (and as far afield as Newcastle upon Tyne), and love playing festivals: they have been guests (sometimes more than once) at those held at Dent, Saltaire, Keighley (The Aire Do), Bedale (BAMfest), Malton & Norton, the Hardraw Gathering, Bradford (the Shuttle Shuffle Festival and Bradford Festival itself), Scartop Summertime Blues Festival and the place they made their duo debut, Otley Folk Festival.
Both men continue with individual projects: Gerry is well-known as a solo acoustic blues artist, and is the guitarist for the trio Bessie’s Blues. Phil is an outstanding recording engineer and producer with his own busy studio in Otley (http://www.limbomusic.co.uk ), but he also works solo, provides fiddle and guitar for the dance sides Flash Company and Kitchen Taps, and plays in the trio The Twangles.
Nice Things People Have Said
“Their humour and natural empathy make the music appear effortless.”
(Ben ‘Blue’ Waters, musician and promoter)
“Individually these guys are fantastic. Together they are magical. Authentic roots sounds from two master craftsmen. An inspiration!”
(Nick Hall, musician [plumhall, The Hall Brothers])
“Their life-long love affair with these genres comes across to their audiences with relaxed dynamism and good-time expertise, through excellent musicianship…Gerry & Phil are a force to be reckoned with on the live acoustic scene.”
(Dave Kidman, singer, promoter and reviewer)
(Sleepy Jake Segrave, musician)