Ry Cooder – Cotati (1987)

FrontCover1Even without releasing the covers album, Bop Till You Drop, in 1979, Ry Cooder was already  a formidable musician steeped in the blues with a Tex-Mex feel. His ’70s albums such as Into The Purple Valley, Boomer’s Story, Paradise And Lunch and Chicken Skin Music are classics but Bop Till You Drop, the first major-label digitally recorded album of pop music, put Cooder right in the spotlight.

Just as we are now pondering if the physical media (CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays) is coming to an end, at that time, the Bop Till You Drop CD – just as Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms – was used to showcase the format and CD players.
Alongside his solo albums, Cooder also worked on soundtracks such as The Long Riders, The Border and brought the slide to a new artistic level on Paris, Texas. This wasn’t the rollicking slide of the Allman Brothers at Fillmore East but slide which put an achingly haunting spell on the listener. Then, A Meeting By The River with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in 1993 and, more importantly, Buena Vista Social Club in 1997, saw Cooder being hailed as a music archivist. While Cooder turned to his staples of bluesy and rock & roll tunes when he played live, it’d be interesting to see him tour with his soundtracks once in while.

Thanks to easyed for sharing a show (and artwork) on Dime which took place before World Music discovered Ry Cooder.

easyed noted:
RyCooder01A few days later, this same lineup performed at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA, a performance which was filmed for commercial release by Les Blank. Rumor has it that Ry didn’t like the film [Let’s Have A Ball], and it was never released, although I have seen it in circulation.
The autographs on the CD art are real. Ry autographed a couple of compact discs for me outside the Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA in 1987 and on one of them conveniently added the year! He had his son, at the time maybe 14 years old, with him, who asked about the compact discs, “Dad, what are those?” to which Ry replied something along the lines of “Those are compact discs, son. They’ll be obsolete in a couple years.”
The venue for this show was The Cotati Cabaret in Cotati, CA. It was a small club that held about 300 people. Cotati is a small town located about an hour north of San Francisco. The Cabaret was an outgrowth of another venue that had been across the street called The Inn of The Beginning, a resurrected version of which has since ‘risen from the ashes’ once or twice since the ’80s. Cotati is next to Sonoma State University, which was called Granola State University back in the days. SSU is where the great recording of Old & In The Way with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott opening was made in 1973.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Recorded live at the Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, CA; March 23, 1987.
Excellent soundboard.
RyCooderBand1987The Ry Cooder Band in 1987
Personnel:

George Bohannon (trombone)

Jorge Calderon (bass)
Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals)
Miguel Cruz (percussion)
Steve Douglas (saxophone)
Terry Evans (vocals)
Willie Greene Jr. (vocals)
Flaco Jimenez (accordian)
Bobby King (vocals)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Arnold McCuller (vocals)
Van Dyke Parks (Keyboards)

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Showtime (unknown) 2.13
02. Little Sister (Pomus/Shuman) 3.47
03. Smack Dab In The Middle (Calhoun) 1.09
04. Let’s Have A Ball (Bunn) 6.45
05. Go On Home Girl (Alexander) 7.40
06. Ay Te Dejo Déjo En San Antonio (Traditional) 4.40
07. He’ll Have To Go (A. Allison/J. Allison) 6.17
08. Jesus On The Mainline (Traditional) 8.09
09. Dark End Of The Street (Moman/Penn) 6.52
10. Atombomb (unknown)
11. Teeny Weeny Bit I Don’t Want Much (Gordon) 7.28
12. One Meatball (Zaret/Singer) 7.23
13. Maria Elena (Barcelata/Russell) 6.03
14. If Walls Could Talk (Miller) 9.52
15. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich Makes Me Poor (Bailey) 8.05
16. Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile (Emerson) 6.55
17. Chain Gang (Cooke) 6.45
18. Down In Hollywood (Cooder/Drummond) 13.55
19. Good Night Irene (Ledbetter) 6.57

*
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Little Village – Living Action (1992)

LittleVillageLivingActionFCFor those Nick Lowe fans who enjoyed Rockpile, here’s Nick Lowe with Ry Cooder, John Hiatt and Jim Keltner – a supergroup collectively known as Little Village.
One of the musical highlights of the ’80s was John Hiatt’s Bring The Family, the 1987 album which, sort of, reintroduced the veteran singer-songwriter to a new generation of fans. It was also an exciting album because of its lineup.
For the hit song, Thing Called Love, Hiatt said: “I had everything when we went to record it, but Nick Lowe came up with that riff – ba dir di dir dit – which is the icing on the cake. As soon as he started playing that on the bass, Ry started playing it on the guitar, and he was laughing, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ And that was pretty much the arrangement.”
The easy way the individual members clicked was what led to Little Village in 1992 but the group’s one and only album did not take off though the classic guitar rock sound certainly hasn’t dated. [One can also guess that the “supergroup” format meant that the focus and the pressure wasn’t directed solely at any one person, certainly each member very much a star in his own right.]
With all the reunions these days, one wonders if Little Village would ever consider going on the road again.
Recorded live at the Fox Warfield Theatre,
San Francisco, CA; April 7, 1992. Excellent FM broadcast

LittleVillageLivingAction
Personnel:
Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals)
John Hiatt (guitar, vocals)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Nick Lowe (bass, vocals)

LittleVillageLivingActionBCTracklist:
01. Solar Sex Panel (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 7.48
02. The Action (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 4.04
03. Fool Who Knows (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 3.57
04. Do You Want My Job (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 6.08
05. She Runs Hot (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 4.56
06. Don’t Think About Her When You’re Trying To Drive (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 5.14
07. Memphis In The Meantime (Hiatt) 5.54
08. Crying In My Sleep (Yancey/Lowe) 5.00
09. Big Love (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 8.52
10. Little Sister (Pomus/Shuman) 3.38
11. Half A Boy And Half A Man (Lowe) 3.45
12. Thing Called Love (Hiatt) 5.41
13. Lipstick Sunset (Hiatt) 5.48

*
**

The Chieftains – The Wide World Over (2002)

FrontCover1In the Chieftains’ four decades of recording, they’ve changed labels a handful of times, and each label has seen fit to record at least one or two collections of the band’s output under their tenure. At this point they have so many best-ofs and greatest-hits compilations, it’s tough for the listener to know the best of what they’re actually hearing. New millennium — new collection: the band’s longtime label, RCA Victor, has done the Celtic community a favor by releasing a collection that deals more with the band’s journey through their different phases as opposed to trying to reassemble a hits package. The end result is almost like listening to a radio station that only plays Chieftains songs. There are some live tracks, their countrified romp through “Cotton-Eyed Joe”; Van Morrison’s adult-contemporary “Shenandoah”; an unusual introduction of the bandmembers in Chinese; appearances from Sting, Diana Krall, and Art Garfunkel; and a couple of new recordings. The breezy cover of “Morning Has Broken” fares better than the hybridized “Redemption Song” (in fact, it’s a challenge to think of any instances of a successful Celtic/reggae alloy). The album will be enjoyed by Chieftains fans as a fun collection of songs they have never heard back-to-back before, and those looking for a greatest-hits collection will have plenty of other places to look. (by Zac Johnson)

Inside1Personnel:
Derek Bell (cláirseach, oboe, keyboards, tiompán, vocals)
Kevin Conneff (bodhrán, vocals)
Martin Fay (fiddle, bones, vocals)
Seán Keane (fiddle, tin whistle, vocals)
Matt Molloy (flute, tin whistle, vocals)
Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, button accordion, bodhrán, vocals)
+
Anúna (vocals)
Jean Butler (dancer)
Ry Cooder (electric guitar, mandocello)
Elvis Costello (vocals)
Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Diana Krall (vocals, piano)
Ziggy Marley (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Joni Mitchell (vocals)
Van Morrison (vocals)
Carlos Nunez (bagpipe)
Sinéad O’Connor (vocals)
Linda Ronstadt (vocals)
Ricky Skaggs (vocals)
Don Was (percussion)
+
Belfast Harp Orchestra
Chinese Ensemble
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel
Los Lobos
The Corrs
The Rolling Stones

Booklet01A

Tracklist:
01. March Of The King Of Laois (Traditional) 4.25
02. The Foggy Dew (feat: Sinéad O’Connor) (Traditional) 5.01
03. I Know My Love (feat: The Corrs) (Traditional) 3.27
04. Cotton-Eyed Joe (feat: Ricky Skaggs) (Traditional) 2.45
05. The Magdalene Laundries (feat: Joni Mitchell) (Mitchell) 4.57
06. Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub (Traditional) 2.21
07. Shenandoah (feat: Van Morrison) (Traditional) 3.52
08. The Munster Cloak (Traditional) 6.12
09. Morning Has Broken (feat: Art Garfunkel / Diana Krall) (Traditional) 2.55
10. Morning Dew /Women Of Ireland (P.Moloney) 2.57
11. Mo Ghile Mear (feat: Sting) (P.Moloney/Traditional) 3.20
12. Carolan’s Concerto (feat: Belfast Harp Orchestra) (Traditional) 3.02
13. Guadalupe (feat: Los Lobos / Linda Ronstadt) (Traditional) 3.31
14. Full Of Joy (feat: Chinese Ensemble) (Traditional) 3.24
15. Here’s A Health To The Company (Traditional) 3.03
16. Chasing the Fox (feat: Erich Kunzel / Cincinnati Pops Orchestra) (P.Moloney/ Traditional) 4.11
17. Long Journey Home (Anthem) (feat: Anúna / Elvis Costello) (Costello/P.Moloney) 3.20
18. The Rocky Road To Dublin (feat: The Rolling Stones) (Traditional) 4.17
19. Redemption Song (feat: Ziggy Marley) (B.Marley) 4.22

CD1*
**

wikipediatracklisting

Ry Cooder – Crossroads (1986)

RyCooderCrossroadsFCRyland “Ry” Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist, singer, and composer.
He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in the American roots music, and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. Cooder was ranked number 8 on Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
This production of classic blues tunes remains one of my favorites today. The Karate Kid steps up to the plate but his performance is mediocore yet saleable. A great story, looking for Robert Johnson’s lost tracks, a rendeveouz with the devil, a young love affair and a quest for redempetion make this film very likeable. It is, however, the music that sets it apart. If you are a fan of R. Johnson a lover of the blues then it’s a must see/listen.
Note that this album does not include the legendary “Head-Cuttin’ Duel”. I will publish this track later in the first “Many Fantastic Colors” Anthology.

RyCooderCrossroads

Personnel:
George Bohannon (baritone horn)
Jorge Calderon (bass)
Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals)
Miguel Cruz (percussion)
Jim Dickinson (piano, dolceola)
Nathan East (bass)
Terry Evans (background vocals)
Frank Frost (vocals, harmonica)
Richard Holmes (bass)
Willie Green (background vocals)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Bobby King (background vocals)
John Logan (harmonica)
Amy Madigan (vocals)
Van Dyke Parks (piano)
Alan Pasqua (synthesizer)
John Price (drums)
Joe Senaca (vocals)
Walter Sereth (saxophone)
William Smith (organ)
Otis Taylor (guitar)
Sonny Terry (harmonica)

Tracklist:
01. Crossroads (Johnson) 4.23
02. Down In Mississippi(Lenoir) 4.26 (additional recording – not featured in the movie picture)
03. Cotton Needs Pickin’ (Frost/Holmes/Taylor/Price) 2.58
04. Viola Lee Blues (Lewis) 3.11
05. See You In Hell, Blind Boy (Cooder) 2.12
06. Nitty Gritty Mississippi (Burch/Hill) 2.57
07. He Made A Woman Out Of Me (Burch/Hill) 4.12
08. Feelin’ Bad Blues (Cooder) 4.17
09. Somebody’s Callin’ My Name (Traditional) 1.45
10. Willie Brown Blues (Cooder/Seneca) 3.46
11. Walkin’ Away Blues (Terry/Cooder) 3.40

RyCooderCrossroadsLabel*
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