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Artist Profile

All new Three Hour Tour to be released on October 29th 2015

All new Three Hour Tour to be released on October 29th 2015

Three Hour Tour will release the new album, Action And Heroes, October 29, 2015. The album contains 11 new songs, all composed by Darren Cooper, with one song co-written by his long time collaborator, Ken Glosser. Live basic tracks were recorded at the Schmitt Factory, Champaign, IL by Adam Schmitt. Drum credits go once again to Brad Elvis and John Louis Richardson. All guitars, bass and vocals were recorded by Cooper at his home studio. The album was produced by Cooper and Schmitt, mixed and mastered by Adam Schmitt at the Schmitt Factory.

See the latest review on YouTube here.


Luna Kafé record review

US - Illinois - Full Moon 176 - 01/19/11

Three Hour Tour

Looking For Tomorrow


Looking For Tomorrow is Darren Cooper's Champaign, Illinois-based outfit Three Hour Tour's return to shelves. It's a follow-up to B Side Oblivion (2007). Before that, there was the singles collection album, "1969" (released in 1996). Darren Cooper is a multi-talented veteran of many pop bands, including the 1980s group Choo Choo Train -- a band featuring Ric Menck and Paul Chastain, who later started the semi-legendary Velvet Crush. Chastain contributes to Looking For Tomorrow, which is a true power pop gem. Vintage power pop, old school style, done with punch and pride. Not to forget powerful melodies strutting with catchiness.

Velvet Crush is a good reference to pinpoint Three Hour Tour, as is the world of Matthew Sweet. Add Bob Mould's pop-muscular Sugar, plus the Posies, Guided By Voices, and Myracle Brah, and we're just about there. One could also mention classic 1970's acts like Raspberries, Badfinger and Big Star. And, one might also mention 1960's bands like The Who and The Small Faces, just to make sure to draw the full line backwards. Darren Cooper has written 9 of the 10 tracks, the last one is a loose and brilliant take on The Who's "Heaven and Hell". The other players are: Adam Schmitt (bass, keyboards), drummers John Richardson (Gin Blossoms, and others) and Brad Elvis (of The Romantics, Handcuffs, Elvis Brothers), and the aforementioned Paul Chastain (who's also played with Matthew Sweet).

Looking For Tomorrow is probably looking more for yesterday than tomorrow music-wise. yet it's a solid and delicious record if you're into pure, pleasant power-pop. Clocking in at 36 minutes it's also a perfectly lengthy record, if you're asking me. Opener "Pig In Disguise" is Matthew Sweet meets Bob Mould's Sugar, and a good starter for the album. This and the following songs prove Darren Cooper to be a song-smith crafting his tunes with passion and skill (and he's a great guitar player). No bullshit, no fake make-up, simply stripped elegance. The only problem is that it might - sometimes - sound too perfect. But, by all means... this aside Looking For Tomorrow is half an hour of good company. Just check "All Time Low" and "Dead Reckoning". And the Who cover. Thumbs up.

Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen

© 2011 Luna Kafé


Martian Record Corp.

Amazing new album from one of the power pop genre`s finest acts, Three Hour Tour. This is classic modern power pop - think lots of Velvet Crush and Matthew Sweet. As great as "B Side Oblivion" was back in 2008, "Looking For Tomorrow" tops it in spades. Darren Cooper, leader of Three Hour Tour, delivers full-throttle.

No doubt, Cooper is back and delivers the powerful statement power pop fans long for. You will hear refrains of Myracle Brah`s Andy Bopp, post-Beatles/Badfinger, Velvet Crush and just a insanely refreshing batch of songs all over the 10 tracks here.

Featuring the massive talents of Brad Elvis, Adam Schmitt, John Richardson(Tommy Keene, Gin Blossoms) and Paul Chastain(a band called Velvet Crush); these three names are, come to think of it, all you need to know that this CD ROCKS - huge. No question: One of 2010`s very, very best. Period. No more hyperbole needed, just a fact.


Bruce Brodeen

Dr. Bristol's best of 2008, Three Hour Tour, B Side Oblivion.

13. Three Hour Tour: B Side Oblivion

Ten years ago Three Hour Tour issued 1969, a collection of singles recorded for Parasol, and then they were gone. Now out of nowhere, this gem popped up to serve ten new tracks from this collection of (now) powerpop legends? Darren Cooper, where the hell have you been? The roots of the band go way back to the Champaign Illinois days, where they evolved into powerpop icons…Adam Schmitt as producer and solo artist, Paul Chastain and Ric Menck with Velvet Crush, Brad Steakley (a/k/a Brad Elvis). Cooper formed Copper Records (was it really just a typo, Darren?) and had he done nothing else but release Cotton Mather’s Kon Tiki, he’d still be a pop hero.

And speaking of Kon Tiki, that’s the first thing I thought of when hearing “Easter Basket Grass”, one of those instantly hummable songs you find yourself singing long before you even care what the words are about. This is really Cooper’s show, and his love of Badfinger and The Byrds is pretty evident when you add up the chiming guitar chords, soaring vocals and irresistible hooks. “Lonely Place” is reminiscent of Myracle Brah (if they had George Harrison playing slide guitar) and “What Made You Change” is a marriage of John Lennon and Cheap Trick. Cooper’s vocals might sound eerily like Matthew Sweet, but this is a far, far better record than Sunshine Lies. Please don’t make me wait another ten years, guys.

See the whole list here: http://drbristol.wordpress.com/music/


It's been too damned long since we have heard new music from this semi-legendary Midwestern power pop outfit,~but Darren Cooper and the crew have arrived with the mighty B Side Oblivion, which is sure to stand tall as one of '08's finest pure pop efforts.~ Co-produced by Adam Schmitt and Cooper (and "inexpensively recorded and engineered by Adam Schmitt in his basement home studio," according to the sleeve notes), BSO is chock full of the sort of hyper-melodic wonderfulness that brings to mind such titans of the genre as Matthew Sweet, Velvet Crush and - reaching even further back - The Byrds. (The marvelous guitar breaks on the title track alone positively reek of McGuinn and Co., circa '66).~ Cooper's tunes are pensive and thoughtful,~but still have the proper instrumental kick (led by an array on spiky, thick guitar sounds, all played by Cooper) to avoid any hint of wimpiness.~ The glorious "Lady Named Caroline" is an immediate classic, but the aforementioned title track, the moody "Be There Soon" and the pretty, longing "A Girl That I Once Knew" ain't far behind.~ Bonus: BSO features the instrumental talents of Schmitt and Velvet Crush's Paul Chastain on bass and percussive assistance from two of the best in the biz: Brad Elvis and Ric Menck.

--John M. Borack [April 19, 2008]

Street date: 01/15/2008

SRLP $15.98

1. I Wanted You Around

2. A Girl That I Once Knew

3. Lonely Place

4. Lady Named Caroline

5. Be There Soon

6. B Side Oblivion

7. Road Less Traveled

8. Easter Basket Grass

9. Her Shadow

10. What Made You Change

all songs by Darren Cooper C P 2007 Martians on Martinis ASCAP

Darren Cooper: all guitars, all vocals, organ on "B There Soon"

Adam Schmitt: Bass

Paul Chastain: Bass on "Road Less Traveled" and "B Side Oblivion" Piano on "Lonely Place"

Brad Steakley: Drums

Ric Menck: Drums on "A Girl That I Once Knew" and "Be There Soon"

John Richardson: Drums on "What Made You Change"

Produced by Darren Cooper and Adam Schmitt

Recorded, engineered and mastered by Adam Schmitt at The Schmitt Factory, Urbana, IL.



A Very Big Deal For Indie Power Pop Fans!

For po...

A Very Big Deal For Indie Power Pop Fans!

For power pop fans who have been around awhile, seeing the name Three Hour Tour is probably both exciting and surprising to see here in 2008 as it's been over 10 years since their last album, 1969, came out. Well, Darren Cooper is back and delivers the powerful statement power pop fans long for. Listen to the tracks and you'll hear refrains of Myracle Brah's Andy Bopp(Songs 3 and 6 below, in particular), post-Beatles/Badfinger(Song 2), Velvet Crush and just a insanely refreshing batch of songs all over the 10 tracks on "B Side Oblivion".

Featuring the talents of Adam Schmitt(playing and co-producing) and Brad Steakley(Elvis Brothers, Big Hello, Romantics, The Handcuffs) and Paul Chastain(Velvet Crush), the pedigree here is massive! Immaculately crafted and wickedly and blisteringly infectious, Three Hour Tour is something very, very special to start off 2008. EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

NEW RELEASE, KOOL KAT MUSIC. Three Hour Tour - "B Side Oblivion"

Another welcome return. Originally formed in late 1989 by Darren Cooper, Brad Steakley and Brian Paul, they released two successful singles and two well received CDs on the Parasol label in the 90's. After a rather long hiatus, Darren's been bitten by the pop bug again and has delivered this brand new, brilliant 10-song effort! This time around he's even enlisted help from some upper echelon power poppers like Adam Schmitt on bass guitar. Brad Steakley (long-time THT partner in crime) on drums, Paul Chastain (Velvet Crush, et al) on bass and piano, and Ric Menck (Velvet Crush, et al) on drums! What we've heard so far is typical of the high quality, pure power pop output that THT have been known for in the past! Already a contender for a "Best Of 2008" slot in our opinion! Welcome back Darren! GREAT!!!!

CD of the day 2/14/08, 2008

Absolute Powerpop

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CD of the Day, 2/14/0...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CD of the Day, 2/14/08: Three Hour Tour-B Side Oblivion

Now here's a blast from the past. Darren Cooper and Three Hour Tour have actually been around since 1989, but have been dormant for the last 10 years (stuck on Gilligan's Island, perhaps?). So it was a nice treat to see them release B Side Oblivion early this year. Despite the title, this isn't a collection of B-sides, rarities, etc. - it's 10 new power-poppin' tracks.

Cooper really enlisted the help here - Adam Schmitt plays bass, and Velvet Crush's Paul Chastain and Ric Menck add bass and drums, respectively. If you're a fan of Schmitt or Velvet Crush (or a fan of quality power pop at all), this one's a must-get. "I Wanted You Around" has just the right measure of guitar crunch and melody that reminds me you why power pop is your favorite genre; "A Girl That I Once Knew" is the kind of midtempo track you'd get if you combined Badfinger and Eric Carmen; the slide guitar that propels "Lonely Place" along is worth the price of admission; the title track recalls Tom Petty's Wilbury-era stuff; and "Easter Basket Grass", while likely being the first song ever to mention the product, is also a great rocker. It continues to get easier and easier to come up with an early Best-of-2008 list.

Kool Kat | Not Lame | MySpace

Posted by Steve at 12:06 PM

"B Side Oblivion": THREE HOUR TOUR!

Há uma geração de power poppers ao qual o adjetivo 'anacrônico' não parece ser justo ou verdadeiro. Eu já havia mencionado aqui a quantidade de artistas americanos que foram expostos ao impacto da apresentação dos Beatles no Ed Sullivan Show, e como um evento tão distante cronologicamente de nós pode ainda fazer eco no tempo atual. Para os que presenciaram a invasão britânica – e que hoje estão na casa dos cinqüenta anos ou próximo disso – o arrebate se refletiu na sua futura produção musical. Ou seja, foram influenciados in loco pelo acontecimento, que forjou um estilo legítimo e, para eles, contemporâneo.

E assim foi com o cantor compositor de Illinois Darren Cooper, que tinha três anos no dia em que foi tocado magicamente pelas melodias dos quatro garotos de Liverpool. E que serviu para definir o caminho a seguir por tua sua vida musical. B Side Oblivion é o terceiro álbum do projeto Three Hour Tour, e contou com as participações estelares de Adam Schmitt – no baixo e na produção, gravação e engenharia de som; Paul Chastain também no baixo e Ric Menck na bateria. O que faz as expectativas em torno do álbum subirem aos céus.

Por isso logo na abertura o arrebate sônico da melodia irretocável e o refrão auto-adesivo de "A Girl That I Once Knew" – o protótipo do power pop pleno. "I Wanted You Around" segue em tom de balada lembrando Guided By Voices e o timbre vocal de Robert Pollard. A pérola "A Lady Named Caroline" recheada de belos acordes cativa na melodia pop e deixa claro as principais influências modernas do Three Hour Tour: Matthew Sweet, Guided By Voices e Myracle Brah.

A canção título é a prova cristalina da capacidade de Cooper no artesanato pop. E, mesmo com um pouco mais de pressão nas guitarras, o americano se sai bem ao contrapor o rock e o pop em "Road Less Traveled". "Easter Basket Grass" traz refrão clássico para as massas e "Her Shadow" vem em clima de canção pop perfeita. A enxurrada de guitarras, formatando um autêntico rock de arena em "What Made You Change", evidencia o impacto da segunda (a primeira, como já sabemos, foram os Beatles no Ed Sullivan Show) epifania musical da vida de Darren Cooper: um show ao vivo do Cheap Trick.



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1969 Revisited/Remastered Cover
  • 1969 Revisited/Remastered
  • Pop, Rock
  • Three Hour Tour
  • 08/06/2007
  • 1969 Revisited/Remastered
Liner Notes: All songs C P 2007 Martians on Martinis, ASCAP. Darren Cooper, Guitars, Lead/Backing Vocals, percussion. Brian Paul, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals Brad Elvis, Slingerland Drums John Richardson, Drums on "What Kind of Kiss" and "Devil You Know" Produced by Darren Cooper Recorded and engineered by Kent Whitesell at Clubhouse Recording, Champaign, IL. Digital Remastering by Adam Schmitt, The Schmitt Factory, Urbana IL. Next Time (D Cooper) Valentines Day (D Cooper, K Glosser) What Kind of Kiss (D Cooper, K Glosser) Turn Down (D Cooper) If You Were Here (D Cooper) Love Sick Trip (D Cooper, K Glosser King of the Mountain (D Cooper) Prancing Horse Farms (Cooper, Chastain) Devil You Know (D Cooper) Peace on You (D Cooper) Cover art and layout by Dean Thank You: Ken Glosser, Paul Chastain, Kent Whitesell, Adam Schmitt, Eric Walters, Mark Kleiss, Stan Redden, Caino, Jake, Vilma and YOU! Darren Cooper used Marshall, Vox and Orange amps on this record. Darren Cooper now uses HIWATT exclusively. Martian Record Corp 811 E Van Allen St. Tuscola, IL. 61953 Ph. 217-253-2299 email: sales@martianrecordcorp.com
  1. Next Time
  2. Valentines Day
  3. What Kind of Kiss
  4. Turn Down
  5. If You Were Here
  6. Love Sick Trip
  7. King of the Mountain
  8. Prancing Horse Farms
  9. Devil You Know
  10. Peace on You
B Side Oblivion Cover
  • B Side Oblivion
  • Alternative, Rock
  • Three Hour Tour
  • 10/02/2007
  • B Side Oblivion
Liner Notes: Three Hour Tour, B Side Oblivion Produced by Darren Cooper and Adam Schmitt. Recorded and engineered by Adam Schmitt at the Schmitt Factory, Urbana, IL. Track 7 drums, recorded at Pogo Studios, Champaign, IL. All songs written by Darren Cooper. C. P. 2007 Martians on Martinis ASCAP. Darren Cooper, Guitars, Vocals, Percussion, Organ on "Be There Soon" Adam Schmitt, Bass Brad Steakley, Drums Paul Chastain, Bass on "B Side Oblivion" and "Road Less Traveled", Piano on "Lonely Place". Ric Menck, Drums on "A Girl That I Once Knew" and "Be There Soon". John Richardson, Drums on "What Made You Change". all rights reserved. Martian Record Corp. 809 E Southline Rd. Tuscola, IL. 61953 www.martianrecordcorp.com www.myspace.com/darrencoopersthreehourtour
  1. I Wanted You Around
  2. A Girl That I Once Knew
  3. Lonely Place
  4. Lady Named Caroline
  5. Be There Soon
  6. B Side Oblivion
  7. Road Less Traveled
  8. Easter Basket Grass
  9. Her Shadow ( The Way It Happened )
  10. What Made You Change
Looking for Tomorrow Cover
  • Looking for Tomorrow
  • Alternative, Rock
  • Three Hour Tour
  • 10/22/2010
  • Looking for Tomorrow
Liner Notes:
  1. Pig In Disguise
  2. For Now We Say Goodnight
  3. On Television
  4. Alcatraz
  5. All Time Low
  6. All We Need
  7. Looking for Tomorrow
  8. Dead Reckoning
  9. Gone
  10. Heaven and Hell
For Now We Say Goodnight Cover
  • For Now We Say Goodnight
  • Rock, Alternative
  • Three Hour Tour
  • 09/04/2010
  • For Now We Say Goodnight
Liner Notes: Words and music by Darren Cooper ©2010 Martians on Martinis ASAP
  1. For Now We Say Goodnight
Early Three Hour Tour Cover
  • Early Three Hour Tour
  • Pop, Rock
  • Three Hour Tour
  • 05/16/2011
  • Early Three Hour Tour
Liner Notes:
  1. Turn Down
  2. If You Were Here
  3. Valentines Day
  4. Next Time
  5. King of the Mountain
  6. Prancing Horse Farms
  7. Love Sick Trip
  8. Devil You Know
  9. What Kind of Kiss
  10. Tarnished Silver Screen
  11. So Much More
  12. Obvious Oblivious
  13. So Tonight
  14. Easy Come Easy Go
  15. Why Do We Fall
  16. Today Will Be Yesterday
  17. Home Again