Citizen Cope to Play Solo Acoustic Performance at Merriam Theater, 10/18

Citizen Cope to Play Solo Acoustic Performance at Merriam Theater, 10/18

After a decade of touring, song writing, storytelling, and evolution, Citizen Cope presents an evening of solo, acoustic work in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater on Friday, October 18 at 8 p.m. A self-realized musical, poetic and production entity over past nine years, Citizen Cope has released four albums-Rain Water, Every Waking Moment, and The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, to name a few- each of remarkable depth and distinction that paints an auditory American landscape in which despair wars with hope and hope, tied to love, is elusive.

Tickets for Citizen Cope are available from $35 to $39.50 by calling 215-893-1999, online at, at the KimMel Center box office, Broad & Spruce streets (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Dug deep into the rich soil of American music, Citizen Cope's roots take inspiration from Bill Withers, Neil Young, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and Al Green. As a troubadour, Cope is a one-man band, trying to make sense of all the nonsense that marks the 21st Century, relentlessly crisscrossing the land as a master storyteller exposing all that haunts his heart. Born Clarence Greenwood, a child of the seventies, Citizen Cope is the radically mashed-up product of Greenville, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Vernon, Texas; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Brooklyn, New York. These locations are felt everywhere in his stories. His sounds are southern rural, big sky lonely, concrete urban, and painfully romantic.

In 2002, his self-titled debut album, Citizen Cope, revealed an artist still finding his footing and, although his trademark poetry is firmly in place, this is the only record where the production isn't entirely his own. The aural environment is more elaborate, the sound not yet reduced down to the common denominator that we come to know as Cope. His second album, The Clarence Greenwood Recordings (2004), which, together with his next two records, form a masterful trilogy. Emotional confusion and musical coherence sit side by side. Every Waking Moment (2006) is more self-reflection, sly personal and political analysis projected in another suite of free-wheeling stories.

The Rainwater LP (2010) asks questions with "Keep Askin." In response, "Lifeline" paints a thread about survival, the realization of romance, the hope for reconciliation, the strain to connect father and son, life and death, heaven and hell. With The Rainwater LP, his self-reliance has been realized in the form of his own independent label. In that sense, his Americanism is profound. His approach is radical. He's a rebel in the tough tradition of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He wanders through the woods alone. His accountability is to his own heart, his own values and vision.