Five Firsts: C. Ryder Cooley of Ryder, Hazel & the Dust Bowl Faeries

Ryder & Hazel with Karen Cole of Dust Bowl Faeries
Ryder & Hazel with Karen Cole of Dust Bowl Faeries

NAME: C. Ryder Cooley
BAND AFFILIATION: Ryder, Hazel & the Dust Bowl Faeries
INSTRUMENT: Vocals, ukukele, singing saw, accordion, kazoo

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Soundtrack to the movie “Pete’s Dragon.” (I was about 10.)

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … I went to a lot of classical music concerts as a kid. The first rock concert I went to was a Christian rock concert for kids in the psyche ward at a mental hospital. That ruined rock concerts for awhile.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … I started out on piano, but that was boring so I switched to trombone.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … The first song I played in public was at Artists Television Access in San Francisco. It was an old timey cowgirl song that starts out like this: “I love all the roar and the rattle, the lure and the billow of cattle…” I still sing it sometimes.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Down River, an experimental performance band in San Francisco in the ’90s. Recordings can be found at

C. Ryder Cooley, her omnipresent taxidermy ram Hazel and the rest of the Dust Bowl Faeries – keyboardist Sara Ayers and lap steel guitarist Karen Cole – make their Albany concert debut at Steamer No. 10 Theatre at 8pm on Saturday (March 1), sharing the bill with the elusive Swamp Baby. Tickets are $13 in advance; $15 at the door.

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