Saturday, January 10, 2009
Catching Ry: Cooder Anthology Impressive
Ry Cooder Anthology: The UFO Has Landed
Five Scoops of Bosco
By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco
How do you capture the career of a musician/songwriter/ producer/collaborator that spans five decades and at least ten musical genres...the guy that Rolling Stone magazine called the fifth greatest guitarist of all time? It's not easy when you are Ry Cooder.
His anthology album released last week entitled The UFO Has Landed is a great start for someone trying to get acquainted with a living legend who has influenced the likes of Leo Kotke, John Fogerty, and Jerry Douglas and has played as a session musician with everybody from the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, Randy Newman, Captain Beefheart and Taj Mahal. Remember he was also the organizer of the highly successful Buena Vista Social Club reunion.
This anthology is compiled by his son Joaquim, who is his musical companion. The album is the first time that record labels are ignored so you get a true cross section of his music. Oddly enough, the song that inspired the title of this album... "The UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto" and his jazz phase is missing on this album which indicates there may be more to come.
The younger Cooder resists taking the easy road by not arranging the songs in chronological order. Rather, he successfully mixes music together that is related. Like when he puts the automobile-inspired songs together "Bout Every Women I Know" and "Drive Like I Never Was Hurt" or his Dust--bowl era influenced music like "How Can I Keep Moving (Unless I Migrate)". And he even pulls some gems out that are previously unreleased like his version of "Let's Get Together" with Buckwheat Zydeco.
Clocking in at 34 songs (which coincidentally is the number of albums Cooder has now released), two discs and over two hours long, this comprehensive box set is a real joy especially if you are a fan of the slide guitar and Americana music.
Listen to clips of the music from this album by going to www.borders.com For something really interesting go to pandora.com and type in "Ry Cooder" and see the related music that is played.