His first solo album ‘Tales of Love, War and Death by Hanging’ was released in 2010 whilst he was still playing and touring with Oysterband. The album has a strongly historical theme and was recorded in a small log cabin in Sweden. The sound is simple but at times evokes a much bigger scale. Citing influences such as T-Bone Burnett, Ennio Morricone, Johnny Cash and June Tabor, Cooper played cello, guitar, harmonium, mandolin, mandola and harmonica to accompany his stirring and finely crafted songs.
His second album ‘Palace Of Tears’ displays a distinct nordic flavour with the inclusion of Swedish fiddles and the Finnish kantele which runs like a seam throughout the album. Like its predecessor, it is a mighty sounding record, one which audibly means business right from the outset: rugged and bold in character, intent and delivery.
"It’s about my experiences of living and working in Northern Europe over the last quarter century. I define myself as a Northern European now, rather than being Scottish" says Ray.