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      Citizen Cope in Pensacola


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      June 20, 2019

      Thursday   7:00 PM

      2 South Palafox Street
      Pensacola, Florida 32502

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      Citizen Cope


      CITIZEN COPEAsk him how he knew it was time to record his first new studio album in seven years,and Clarence Greenwood, the trailblazing artist and producer better known as CitizenCope, has a simple answer: It was time.Cope has built an entire career on trusting his gut and following his muse, and if hisnew album, Heroin & Helicopters, is any indication, his instincts are sharper nowthan ever before. As technically innovative as it is emotionally resonant, the recordarrives at a uniquely challenging moment in modern American culture, when profoundpolitical polarization and social divisions seem to grow deeper by the day. Rather thandwell on our differences, though, Cope tunes in to what unites us here, drawing oneverything from Chuck Brown and The Beatles to Randy Newman and Bill Withers,aiming his unique brand of urbanfolk inwards to reflect on the personal journeys weall undertake to embrace ourselves despite our flaws.I think were all on a mission to find some inner peace, he reflects. Were all goingtowards this collective consciousness, and even though its dark right now, I believewere going to reach that place together. Peace and harmony and understanding,thats how you combat the darkness, and thats what this record is all about.While Heroin & Helicopters feels particularly timely, the records themes have beenfixtures of Copes music since the release of his selftitled debut in 2002. That albumwas the culmination of years of pursuing his passion. Cope got his musical start in DCbefore moving to Brooklyn, where he wrote songs while supporting himself on thestreets, buying and selling concert and sporting tickets with a cast of charactersoutside arenas and stadiums. His music spread from fantofan via word of mouth, andover the course of time his songs have become the soundtrack of his fans lives.The success of Copes music has always been a slow burn, rather than a flash in thepan. His single Let The Drummer Kick eventually went Platinum without any supportfrom commercial radio. The Washington Post has hailed him as DCs finest exportsince Marvin Gaye, while Rolling Stone raved that his uncommon chords andharmonies combine delicate dissonance with unexpected flashes of beauty. In 2004,Cope followed up his selftitled debut with The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, analbum Vibe praised as flawless throughout, gushing that Cope makes music thatfeeds your soulthis is one of those CDs you hear at a friends house and rush out tobuy. The collection was largely ignored by mainstream media and never charted, yetthe grassroots swell of support kept sales rolling year after year, to the tune of700,000 copies, and opened the doors to film and television syncs with tracksappearing in Entourage, Sons of Anarchy, Alpha Dog, and more. Songs from the recordwould go on to be covered by everyone from Carlos Santana and Sheryl Crow to RichieHavens and Rhymefest, and in the years that followed, Cope has headlined all 50states and shared stages with superstars like Eric Clapton. He cracked the Billboard200 for the first time with 2006s Every Waking Moment, and then launched his ownlabel to release 2010s The Rainwater LP and 2012s One Lovely Day, his highestcharting album to date.citizencope.com / @citizencopeManagement: Ineffable Music Groupthomas@ineffablemusic.com / reid@ineffablemusic.comAs Copes career grew, his style of urbanfolk never settled into any particular genrein an industry fixated on arbitrary distinctions like radio formats. I can understandwhy it didnt go into the cookiecutter. The music and my life were influenced bygrowing up in very distinct but different American cultures. Born in Memphis,spending summer months with his great aunt and uncle in a small west Texas town,while being primarily raised in Washington, DC, Cope grew up equally influenced bythe production techniques of George Martin, Dr. Dre and Willie Mitchell while listeningto everything from Willie Nelson, to John Lennon, Bob Marley, Outkast and A TribeCalled Quest. Artistic boundaries meant nothing.The 2011 birth of his daughter proved to be an ideal moment to step away from it alland reevaluate what mattered most, both as a songwriter and a man. It was reallyimportant for me to be there with my daughter as she grew up, says Cope. I tookthese past several years off of recording mostly just to spend time with her. Peoplesay its not rocket science making records, but there really is a science to making apiece of art thats going to touch people emotionally and have an impact on theirlives, and if youre not feeling it, you cant fake it.Copes time away from music was also a moment to deal with reflecting andaddressing the turmoil he faced surrounding the death of his estranged biologicalfather, who had been physically abusive before abandoning his responsibilities decadesearlier. He was sick and I was able to have a sit down with him before he died, Copetold Lance Armstrong in a poignant conversation for The Forward Podcast. I had a lotof fear surrounding my father, and when I saw him, I realized I wasnt scared of him asa person. He was just a flawed individual and I saw him in a whole different light. Ididnt want to go through life having this anger or hatred, and I dont even know whatforgiveness is in that realm, but maybe its a little bit of forgiving yourself and givinglove to yourself.That kind of selfreflection is at the heart of Heroin & Helicopters, which actuallydraws its title from a warning Santana shared with Cope one night backstage at TheFillmore. Stay away from the two Hs, Heroin and Helicopters he said, because theyall too often prove fatal for musicians and celebrities. The message resonated withCope, who saw parallels with a broader culture fixated on shortcuts overselfimprovement, on mass production over quality, on greed over empathy.Were living in an addicted society, says Cope, and not just addicted to drugs oralcohol or substances. Were addicted to conflict and fame and social media. Wereaddicted to getting what we want without working for it, without paying the price.Heroin & Helicopters opens with Duck Confit, a slowburning and arrestingspokenword meditation that finds Cope looking in as much as he looks out, channelingthe uneasy feeling that comes with recognizing your own role in perpetuating the verysame social constructs you wish to change. Where crimes of humanity are concealedand condoned / By self preservation and biblical prophecy...Where you know deepdown inside / That somethings not right / Like a man killing the mother of his son /citizencope.com / @citizencopeManagement: Ineffable Music Groupthomas@ineffablemusic.com / reid@ineffablemusic.comCleaning his shotgun he says over a simmering organ punctuated with 808 kicks. Thetrack plays out like an overheard prayer, spiritual in its intimacy, and it sets the stagebeautifully for a record unafraid to push boundaries and ask uncomfortable questions,questions that transcend any political party or movement and cut to the heart of whatit means to be human.People try to politicize my music sometimes, but I dont write political records,Cope says definitively. My music has always been built around consciousness.The first single Justice challenges our very notion of the concept, wondering ifweve ever even seen what true righteousness looks like in this world. The Rivercastigates and identifies a system built to devalue our lives Theyll take you downto the river / Leave you down by the river / Theyll shoot you down by the river /Leave you to drown by the river. The heavy drum and pianoladen swing of SallyWalks is clothed in the story of a lover whos swallowed whole by addiction, but itsnot clear if Sally is the lover or the substance itself. Though it would be easy todespair in the face of it all, Heroin & Helicopters insists on defiance, on standing upto power and resisting the force of the invisible hands that seem to guide our everymove. Yella could almost be a country song, with Cope singing over acoustic guitarand a drum shuffle played by Abe Laboreal, Jr. With lyrics touching on the migrationof people from small towns to big cities, Cope uses the analogy of a little leaguebaseball player striking out, ultimately realizing that strength and redemption aregained through struggle, loss and failure. And the baseball rolls slowly off thepitchers mound / As I stood in the batters box once they struck me out / I showed asign a weakness and I swung my bat / And the fire that once burned yella turned toashGovernment / counterfeit / dollar bill / you worship it, Cope sings on War, aninfectious track produced by XZ, who worked closely with him in the studio. The songis a perfect distillation of Copes brand of wordplay and lyricism, where war not onlyrepresents a battlefield, but also alludes to an individuals selfinflicted inner turmoil,moving between the mandated laws of religion and society, and how we reconcilechoices within the human psyche.Essentially, Im trying to connect an emotion and lyrics and wrap them up in heavydrums, he explains. The music isnt hip hop, it isnt reggae, it isnt pop, and it isntrock and roll. It doesnt necessarily have a home, genrewise, but it lives in all ofthose places, it pays respect to all those places.Respect is ultimately what it all comes down to for Cope: respect for the art, respectfor each other, respect for ourselves, respect for our instincts. At the end of the day,we all want the same things, and no matter how much the culture conditions us tobelieve that peace and happiness can be bought and sold, theres no price tag becausethey come from within. Change, growth, and satisfaction require patience, work, andlove. Seven years in the making, Heroin & Helicopters is proof of that.citizencope.com / @citizencopeManagement: Ineffable Music Groupthomas@ineffablemusic.com / reid@ineffablemusic.com

      Cost: 46.00

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