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State Cows

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State Cows Genre Westcoast
City Umea
Country Sweden
WEB www.statecows.com

Umeå, the home town of Daniel Andersson and Stefan Olofsson, the brains behind the State Cows, is a city near the coast in the north of Sweden. It’s one of the biggest and most renowned university cities of the country and it’s widely knownfor its outstanding cultural life and the lively music scene. Umeå is home to many Westcoast devotees who have been fortunate to see live performances of Bill Champiln, Marc Jordan and the Jay Graydon All Star band in their town. In this creative environment Daniel and Stefan started out playing in different bands until their paths crossed during their studies at the Piteå School of Music. The first band they played in together was called “The Posers”, a Beatles tribute band. The first step towards Westcoast music was made by Daniel when he recorded the mini-album “DP”, together with bass player Peter Starefeldt.

Through a student exchange with the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles and with the help of their friends Ian and Marylou EalesDaniel and Stefan eventually became acquainted with L.A. and its music scene. Long lasting impressions were also left by meeting some of their musical idols like David Foster, Jay Graydon, Jason Scheff (Chicago), Jay Gruska (Maxus) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Gino Vannelli, Bruce Hornsby).

Back in Umeå they continued to play gigs with “The Posers” while they also started working on Daniel’s solo album, whichwas subsequently released under the surprising title “Days in L.A.”. The CD was well received and the positive reactionsto the slightly modern Westcoast approach on “Days in L.A.” intensified the ambition to record a full-fledged, no-compromise Westcoast / AOR record like they did them in the early 80s. Meanwhile they had also founded a Steely Dan tribute band called  “2nd Arrangement”. The formation was short lived, nevertheless it was the origin of what became the State Cows.   

The song writing and the recordings of the new songs for the State Cows debut lasted for about two years. Daniel and Stefan worked meticulously on the song lyrics and the musical arrangements. The  musicians that were chosen to record the tracks are hand picked artists from the Swedish and Finnish music scene having played on an international level before. The big exception is Jay Graydon,  whose guest appearance with a guitar solo on “New York Town” is a great coup and also an accolade by one of the real Greats of the Westcoast genre. All songs of the album are among the musically best efforts when it comes to Westcoast music to be recorded and released in the past two decades plus. Overwhelming evidence for this are the more than perfect arrangements, precisely played solos,  skillfully used percussions and a real horn section. Everybody waiting for a second Airplay album or a follow-up to the third Pages record, loving the classic David Foster and Jay Graydon productions and  regularly revisiting Steely Dan and the first Marc Jordan albums is most definitely in for a treat with the State Cows.

When Daniel Andersson and Stefan Olofsson released the self titled STATE COWS debut album (Avenue 1008 0016) in 2010, the feedback from the fans and the media alike was nothing short of phenomenal. The reviewers wrote, “Westcoast music at its best“, “a future classic among Westcoast fans”, “by far the best release in the Westcoast genre in recent years”, “an absolute must for anyone who is seeking a contemporary Westcoast outfit”, “they totally nailed the classic Westcoast sound but they have a unique style all their own”.
And one of the true icons of the genre, Jay Graydon, who contributed a guitar solo to the song “New York Town”, said: “These guys have surely taken West Coast Pop to another level adding the freshness of youth. Great songs, arrangements and performances!“
Accolades galore, raising the expectations for the follow-up to a very high level and with their sophomore album aptly titled “The Second One” the Swedes have definitely managed to live up to their reputation as one of the best Westcoast bands since the glory days of the genre ended almost 30 years ago.
For the recordings of “The Second One”, Daniel and Stefan invited most of the musicians who already conduced to the success of the first album again. Jay Graydon returns for a guitar solo on upbeat “In The City”, but he is not the only one of the former L.A. session cats who makes an appearance, Michael Landau plays the guitar solo on “This Time” and you can listen to Bill Champlin’s vocals on “Finally Fair and Balanced” with the typical arrangement you expect when you hear Bill’s voice. Ian Bairnson of Alan Parsons Project / Keats fame played a guitar solo on “I Got Myself Together”, while the local Swedish guitar talents, Peter Friestedt and Sven Larsson paid a courtesy visit for a guitar solo on “Mister White” and “Hard Goodbye” respectively.
“The Second One” with its stellar song writing, the perfect arrangements, the great harmony vocals and the impressive list of guest musicians is the perfect addition to the CD collection of everyone looking for the classic Westcoast sound along the lines of Airplay, Pages, Steely Dan, Marc Jordan, Michael McDonald, David Roberts, Toto and Chicago.

Albums (2)
Songs (21)

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