Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

by Ry Cooder


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Already a seasoned music business veteran at the age of 22, Ry Cooder stepped out from behind the shadows of the likes of Jackie DeShannon, Taj Mahal, the Rolling Stones, and Captain Beefheart, signing his own deal with Warner Brothers records in 1969. Released the following year, Cooder's eponymous debut creates an intriguing fusion of blues, folk, rock & roll, and pop, filtered through his own intricate, syncopated guitar; Van Dyke Parks and Lenny Waronker's idiosyncratic production; and Parks and Kirby Johnson's string arrangements. And while he's still finding his feet as a singer, Cooder puts this unique blend across with a combination of terrific songs, virtuosic playing, and quirky, yet imaginative, arrangements. For material, Cooder, the son of folklorist parents, unearths ten gems -- spanning six decades dating back to the 1920s -- by legends such as Woody Guthrie, Blind Blake, Sleepy John Estes, and Leadbelly, as well as a current Randy Newman composition. Still, as great as his outside choices are, it's the exuberant charm of his own instrumental "Available Space" that nearly steals the show. Its joyful interplay between Cooder's slide, Van Dyke Parks' music hall piano, and the street-corner drumming creates a piece that is both loose and sophisticated. If "Available Space" is the record's most playful moment, its closer, "Dark Is the Night," is the converse, with Cooder's stark, acoustic slide extracting every ounce of torment from Blind Willie Johnson's mournful masterpiece. Some of the eccentric arrangements may prove to be a bit much for both purists and pop audiences alike, but still, Cooder's need to stretch, tempered with a reverence for the past, helps to create a completely original work that should reward adventurous listeners.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/09/1995
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0075992751025
catalogNumber: 6402
Rank: 36774

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ry Cooder   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Van Dyke Parks   Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Gloria Jones   Vocals,Background Vocals,Voices
John Barbata   Drums
Max Bennett   Bass
Bobby Bruce   Violin
Roy Estrada   Bass
Chris Ethridge   Bass
Richie Hayward   Drums
Milt Holland   Percussion
Kirby Johnson   Conductor,Performing Ensemble

Technical Credits

Ry Cooder   Adaptation
Van Dyke Parks   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Blind Blake   Composer
John Barbeda   Contributor
Max Bennett   Contributor
Douglas Botnick   Engineer
Bobby Bruce   Contributor
Roy Estrada   Contributor
Chris Ethridge   Contributor
Richie Hayward   Contributor
Lee Herschberg   Engineer
Rudy Hill   Engineer
Milt Holland   Contributor
Kirby Johnson   Arranger,Orchestration
Bob Kovacs   Engineer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Lou Singer   Composer
Lenny Waronker   Producer,Audio Production
James Lowe   Engineer
Ed Thrasher   Art Direction

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