Singer-songwriter Brian Cooney performs at WoodsFest on Saturday
HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — For singer-songwriter Brian Cooney, life demands has not deterred him from making his own style of music.
The husband, father of three and grandfather of 11, and an information technology tech at Towson (Md.) University, Cooney still manages to find time to pursue his passion.
“I really like playing for people, so just the fact that I’m up there performing makes me feel good,” Cooney said during a telephone interview.
Cooney will be playing for a crowd when he performs Saturday, May 27, at WoodsFest at The Woods in Hedgesville. The event will feature live entertainment, food and hand-crafted goods made by artisans.
Throughout the years, Cooney has been a part of bands before eventually becoming a solo artist. His earliest experience in making music began in the fifth grade.
While his dedication to producing music has remained, he acknowledged the changes in his vocals that has occurred over the years along with the improvement of his technical skills as an instrumentalist.
“My voice has changed so I don’t sing the high notes like I used to,” he said. “I have a lower register of range now, but it’s been working well for me. I’ve also learned more guitar in the past five or 10 years because I’ve been learning how to finger pick instead of using the regular strummer.”
Cooney, who lives in Baltimore, has passed along the music bug to his children, who all share an interest in some aspects of making music, too — from writing to singing.
One of his daughters, Erin, is featured on a song he wrote called “On the Inside.” Cooney originally wrote the song for a friend back in the ’70s. He wanted to take on a different spin to the song and instead of having a close friend singing back to him, Cooney decided it would be even more special to have it as a father singing to his daughter.
Most of the songs he’s written are about his wife or a friend who he uses as inspiration to make music. He blends folk and rock and sings classic rock song covers mixed with original songs dedicated to musicians he admire.
“Lately in the past five years or so I’ve come to learn new music that I really do like. It all just depends on the atmosphere, but I listen to all music,” Cooney said.
The amount of material he has recently created is so great that he had to break up the songs and make it into two albums. One of the album titled, “Fly Away” will consist of songs he wrote and produced, while the other will feature cover songs of his favorite singers and he plans to name the album, “Tributes.”
While Cooney has performed in the area on different occasions, he always anticipates interacting with fans after performances.
“I love talking with people and also meeting new people after shows,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to play and watch from the crowd as they enjoy my music.”