Northern California’s folk-rock ‘Cowboy’ Jesse Goplen (www.jessegoplen.com) will take his music on the road from the West to the Midwest early in 2009. Goplen will perform at Room 5 Lounge in Hollywood, CA, on January 23rd at 8 p.m., at Ritual Café in Des Moines, IA, on January 30th at 8 p.m., at The Brink Lounge in Madison, WI, on January 31st at 7 p.m., and at Uncommon Ground in Chicago, IL, on February 1st at 9 p.m.
In January, Goplen is planning to do a series of free 45 minute online streaming concerts on his website for 20 days in a row.
At the beginning of the 2000s, was gearing up to conquer the world, throwing himself full throttle into his hopes and aspirations to change America’s drug laws. He was an honors sociology student at the University Of Wisconsin, preparing to go to law school and deeply involved in the movement for drug policy reform.
At the same time, the self-taught musician boldly envisioned a potential dual career as a singer/songwriter. At 15, as an exchange student in Germany, he worked as a street musician and remembered the rush he got playing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” for a crowd of thousands at an acoustic rock festival. He felt that same rush performing an acoustic set in the bitter cold at the Marijuana Harvest Festival on Madison, Wisconsin’s State Street in 2001. He had written his first songs in the winter of 1997-98 while serving a six month jail sentence for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
When 9/11 happened and like a lot of idealistic twentysomethings, he questioned the purpose of everything, including his existence and talents, and found himself adrift creatively for a long time.
What a difference a few years and a move to the fresh air, live and let live world of Humboldt County in Northern California makes. Recorded organically at home, Goplen’s debut CD Cowboy is a raw, impassioned and above all brutally honest all-acoustic set that marks the emergence of an important socially conscious musical voice of our time.
Although Cowboy is Goplen’s first official full-fledged release, he received great notoriety for September Eleven Blues, his 2007 EP of 9/11 “truth songs” which featured the powerful title track and another called “Controlled Demolition”. Both tracks received air and podcast play and were popular within the 9/11 truth movement as well as on stations like KRCB; they also received prominent mention on sites like www.911blogger.com.
Friday, January 23rd
Room 5 Lounge
143 N. La Brea Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028
8 p.m.21+, $10 cover
Friday, January 30th
Des Moines, Iowa
On 13th St. between Grand & Locust
All ages, 8 p.m., $5 cover
Saturday, January 31st
The Brink Lounge
701 East Washington Ave
21+, Show begins at 7 p.m.,
Jesse Goplen 9-11 p.m.
Sunday, February 1st
3800 N Clark St.
All ages, 9 p.m., $5 suggested donation