Copper & Congress Dubbed “Tucson’s Latest Buzz Band”

| September 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

Cooper & Congress members are (L to R) Patrick Morris, Katie Haverly, Kai Lindstedt and Corey Cottress. Photo credit Trevor Crosby.

Copper & Congress, hailing from Tucson, Arizona recently released their debut CD, and the story of how the band came together in the first place, and how they produced “The Leap Year,” is a story with ironic twists and turns. A chance meeting at an open mic night convinced the quartet that they had a future as a band, and they wanted to record right out of the gate. To accomplish this, Copper & Congress launched a fundraising effort on to finance the production of “The Leap Year,” and the CD has now garnered several stellar reviews. Not bad for a band that only formed last March.

Lead singer Katie Haverly says: “This is pop music with no boundaries. We honor each of our own musical presences, there’s no allegiance to a single ego and we all come together and bring everyone’s strength to the band.” In the words of The Arizona Daily Star, “Don’t bother kicking yourself if you’ve never heard of “Tucson’s latest buzz band.” Copper & Congress is Haverly (vocals, guitar, and keyboards), Corey Cottrell (guitar, vocals), Kai Lindstedt (drums), and Patrick Morris (bass). The band combines elements of indie-rock, alternative, jazz, and folk styles, creating an intimately raw sound.

After singing and performing for 13 years with varying bands, Haverly moved to Tucson from upstate New York in September of 2011, and discovered Lindstedt, Morris and Cottrell during a series of informal, open mic collaborations. Since announcing their band name and lineup during a live KXCI performance in March 2012, Copper & Congress has quickly become a band to be reckoned with, and one with a seemingly unlimited future.

Copper & Congress was able to record their first CD by raising more than $12,000 from backers at the fundraising site In less than a month, over 100 people donated $12,500. They hired Tucson’s legendary Craig Schumacher at WaveLab studios, and featured on the album performances by Calexico members Joey Burns and Jacob Valenzuela. The band’s intimate and wide-ranging musical tastes and backgrounds emphasize the intricate arrangements of songs on “The Leap Year,” and the energy between members is especially evident during live performances.

Copper & Congress is clearly a band that’s committed to their craft. Doubly focused on technical perfection and raw, emotional truth, and honoring their Tucson-inspired name, Copper & Congress strives to reflect the varied nature of their native music scene by combining bluesy, country, and Americana sounds. Throughout “The Leap Year,” the energetic music combines with Haverly’s revealing, poetic lyrics and transcendent voice.

According to Haverly, “The album feels like a journey, like lots of stories weaving together to tell one big story.” Haverly wrote eight of the ten tunes on “The Leap Year,” and co-wrote two with bassist Morris. “Patrick and I are writing together now, he’s an amazing writer and bass player, I was so amazed when I first heard him, Corey is nothing short of genius on guitar and Kai’s drumming gives each song the perfect edge. We’re now all starting to write as a band, and everyone brings their own strength.”

Several reviewers have gushed openly about Morris’ bass playing: Said one, “He eschews typical bass lines for a busy style that sometimes carries the melody.” Indeed, Morris plays bass like some guitarists play lead, and his beautiful bass lines are all over the map, testimony to the skill that his years of playing have produced. Drummer Kai Lindstet, in the words of Tempo Magazine, “…proved to be critical to the edgier songs. Quickly pounding away on the catchy, ‘Jennifer,’ and helping the building energy of, ‘Animal,’ Lindstedt thunders his way through the music.” Lead Guitarist Corey Cottrell’s work is impressive, with forays into various genres, but always coming back to grace Haverly’s sweet vocals. Haverly has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan’s early work. She goes from pure pop to jazz and into blues without missing a beat, and while the comparisons are fair, I don’t hear Mitchell or McLachlan – I hear Katie Haverly, who has a fine command of her voice and has refined her singing to its pinnacle. There seems nothing she can’t wrap her voice around and nothing that the band can’t keep up with, and inspire her vocals to greater heights.

Rough plans are currently in the works to bring Copper & Congress to San Diego for some local gigs. In preparation for that, and to hear sound samples of their songs and to purchase “The Leap Year,” simply go to CD Baby, or to the band’s website This is a band that you don’t want to miss out on. The CD will quickly become your “car CD,” that one you listen to for weeks at a time – and I bet you’ll be waiting to hear from me about that San Diego gig. Stay tuned.

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