Ry Cooder: Live in San Francisco (Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ry Cooder: Lord Tell Me Why
Ry Cooder: Live in San Francisco (Warners)

After his excellent but demanding concept album trilogy (Chavez Ravine, My Name is Buddy, I Flathead) then two political albums (Pull Up Some Dust, Election Special), Cooder's mainstream audience might have been tuning out.

This live album recorded two years ago – his first in 35 years – might be the commercial corrective because it has an easy familiarity with well-known covers (Crazy 'Bout an Automobile, The Dark End of the Street, Sam the Sham's gimmicky Wooly Bully) alongside Spanish soul (Volver Volver sung by Juliette Commagere who appeared with him here four years ago), irony (the white man's complaint on Lord Tell Me Why), a nasty and up-dated treatment of Woody Guthrie's Vigilante Man, blues (Goodnight Irene) and lively accordion from guest Flaco Jimenez.

There's spontaneity here (Cooder caught saying to Jimenez off-mike, “Go ahead Flaco” before a solo), an audience whooping with enjoyment, a 10-piece Mexican brass band backing Commagere and flashes of wry Ry humour.

So this is the album longtime fans might actually want to return for because the dozen songs touch on most aspects of Cooder's long career, and showcase that exceptional guitar playing.

There is a recent in-depth interview with Ry Cooder here

[[youtube:ry cooder live in san francisco]]

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Danny McCrum Band: Awake and Restless (McCrum)

Danny McCrum Band: Awake and Restless (McCrum)

Here's a guess, this smart pop-rock album from an Auckland singer-songwriter and his tight, crackling band won't get much attention. The reason? There's not been much sympathy or space for... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FROM SCRATCH REVIEWED (2018): The re-percussions of a hocket in the pocket

FROM SCRATCH REVIEWED (2018): The re-percussions of a hocket in the pocket

Some music requires, insists on and even demands a different kind of listening. So it it has always been with From Scratch, the percussion ensemble which formed in the mid Seventies around... > Read more

Joe Bonamassa: Driving Towards the Daylight (J&R Adventures)

Joe Bonamassa: Driving Towards the Daylight (J&R Adventures)

Gutsy, earthy and steeped in the blues, singer-guitarist Bonamassa seems an unstoppable force. He fires off albums under his own name (this his third in two years) and with Black Country... > Read more