In the last 4 years, Ray Cooper has emerged from the very successful Oysterband to forge a solo career as a modern troubadour. With Oysterband for 25 years, he recorded 19 albums and toured 27 countries. In 2013, Oysterband with June Tabor won 3 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and appeared on 'Later with Jools Holland'. Despite the success, Ray made the decision to leave the band and go solo saying “I need to sing”.
Living and recording in Sweden,Ray tours regularly on the continent and visits England once or twice a year. On stage, Ray sings and plays guitar, mandolin, cello, harmonica and, when available, piano and pipe organ. He entertains audiences with his music, his songs and the stories behind them. Ray’s songs are a mainly self-written, often story-based using historical, contemporary and romantic themes, along with some adaptations of traditional folk songs. The music incorporates his English, Scottish and Scandinavian roots. His first album,“Tales of Love War and Death By Hanging” featured 'The Puritan', 'In Your Sweet Arms', and 'My Compass Points To North'.
On his second album, Ray is joined by the strings and keyboard players from his home town band “The Swedish Kitchen Orchestra”. In addition to the title track, 'The Palace of Tears', other standout tracks are 'Mountainside', 'A Line in the Sand' and 'Destroying Angel'. Ray Cooper has performed at all kinds of venues, large and small, from festivals to house concerts