Blues pianist and singer Al Copley was born in 1952 in Buffalo, NY. Although his family moved several times while Copley was a youngster (first to San Francisco, CA, then Westerly, RI), he was able to take piano lessons on a regular basis. Inspired by the boogie-woogie style of playing, Copley formed his first band in 1965, Ponce de Leon & the Young Ones, before forming Roomful of Blues three years later. Copley spent the early '70s attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston, while still playing with Roomful of Blues. The group began issuing albums in the later part of the decade, as Copley could be heard on such releases as 1977's self-titled debut, 1979's Let's Have a Party, 1981's Hot Little Mama, and 1984's Dressed Up to Get Messed Up. But it was also in 1984 that Copley left the group to move to Europe. The move led to numerous appearances at jazz and blues festivals, as Copley embarked on a solo career later in the decade that resulted in such releases as 1986's A Handful of Key and 1989's Automatic Overdrive.
Although there was a brief Roomful of Blues reunion around this time, Copley returned back to solo work, which led to Copley joining guitarist Jimmie Vaughan for a series of highly prestigious gigs at Royal Albert Hall in England opening for Eric Clapton. Copley would strike up a friendship with Clapton, which led to Copley himself opening several shows for him in 1997. Throughout the '90s, Copley issued solo releases (including Good Understanding, Live at Montreaux, and his swinging pairing with Hal Singer Blue Paris Nights), while also forming the seven-piece outfit Al Copley's Prophet Motive in 1999. In addition to his recording with Roomful of Blues and as a solo artist, Copley has guested on other artist's albums, including releases by the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Eddie C. Campbell, and Duke Robillard, among others. 2000 marked the release of his ninth record, Rainy Summer on One Mind records. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi