• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024
Cooper Shea Partners in Time

Bassist Gary Shea, a member of classic bands such as New England and Alcatrazz, has long been one of the rock and roll world’s unsung heroes. In the early 70s, prior to his rise in the music world, Shea had attempted a collaboration with guitarist DH Cooper, vocalist Peter French (Atomic Rooster and Cactus), and drummer Herman Rarebell (later of Scorpions fame). For various reasons, the Cooper Shea collaboration never came to fruition, but the quartet has reunited to record an album.

With all of these musicians forging careers for themselves elsewhere in the rock and metal world, it is not likely that anyone knew these guys would ever record together again. Partners in Time was certainly not an album this rock and roll fan was expecting to see, but the unexpected release is a welcome addition to this fan’s music collection.

The biggest surprise and oddity about this release from Cooper Shea is that it is mostly instrumental. There is a definite retro 80s hard rock vibe here, but it does not feel like it is purely a throwback either, in that the release is not afraid to branch out and incorporate some other sounds as well. From the great classic heavy metal riffs of “Orange” to the 70s classic rock feel of something like “Move It,” there is some fantastic material to be heard here. Musical diversity is beautifully demonstrated through tracks like the ballad “Don’t Make Angels Cry” and the melodic sounds of “Eastern Light.” We only get two cuts with vocals on the album, “High Danger” and “Nickels and Dimes,” and I would have loved to hear French’s vocal work on a few more cuts. Fortunately, “The Crossing” finishes the album off in fine form, even if it does borrow a little too heavily from Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”

It is a shame this release is bound not to get the attention it deserves, because Gary Shea and company have generated a solid record that absolutely deserves the attention of any fan of classic hard rock and AOR. Yes, I would have loved to see more tracks with vocals, but that is a minor shortcoming. In the long run, it is easy to recommend Partners in Time.



By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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