Posts Tagged ‘Ry Cooder’

Paradise And Lunch

Ry Cooder understands that a great song is a great song, whether it was written before the Depression or last week. Still, at the same time he isn’t afraid to explore new avenues and possibilities for the material. Like his three previous records, Paradise and Lunch is filled with treasures which become part of a world where eras and styles converge without ever sounding forced or contrived. One may think that an album that contains a traditional railroad song, tunes by assorted blues greats, and a Negro spiritual alongside selections by the likes of Bobby Womack, Burt Bacharach, and Little Milton may lack cohesiveness or merely come across as a history lesson, but to Cooder this music is all part of the same fabric and is as relevant and accessible as anything else that may be happening at the time. No matter when it was written or how it may have been done in the past, the tracks, led by Cooder’s brilliant guitar,

Truly a musician’s musician, guitarist Ry Cooder has been a bridge connecting contemporary audiences to a dizzying variety of traditional musics for almost half a century. His ongoing career includes a string of acclaimed albums for Reprise, of which Paradise And Lunch was his fourth release – and one of his best.

Produced by Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker, the 1974 collection touches on blues, gospel, jazz and folk, with Ry applying his distinctive stamp to such highlights as “Jesus on the Mainline,” The album also includes Cooder’s updated arrangement of bluesman Washington Phillips’ song “The Tattler” that stands out for its guitar playing, It was subsequently covered by Linda Ronstadton her 1976 album Hasten Down the Wind

Other tracks like “Ditty Wah Ditty,” which features Earl “Fatha” Hines on piano. Here both musicians are given plenty of room to showcase their instrumental prowess, and the results are nothing short of stunning. Eclectic, intelligent, and thoroughly entertaining, Paradise and Lunch remains Ry Cooder’s masterpiece. Though there are other stellar instrumentalists (including saxophonist Plas Johnson and drummer Jim Keltner) supporting the headliner’s faultless fretwork, Cooder’s down-home vocals are just as important to the set’s soulful appeal, and Paradise And Lunch is heaven for roots rock fans.


This solo acoustic recording from Ry Cooder, in a radio studio and without an audience, illustrates perfectly where this maverick musician and consummate performer was at in 1972. The “Radio Ranch,” Cleveland, OH

With the educational and informative introductions given by Ry before many of the numbers – for the benefit of those listening at home and radio station personnel equally – alongside some of the very finest guitar playing you’re ever likely to hear, this release is a near perfect artifact of this era of Ry Cooder’s career.

1.Interview (Live)
2.Police Dog Blues (Live)
3.Ry Cooder Introduction (Live)
4.Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer (Live)
5.Song Intro (Live)
6.Great Dream from Heaven (Live)

7.Sleepy John Estes Introduction (Live)
8.Clean up at Home (Live)
9.Dedication to Radio Ranch Personnel (Live)
10.Tattler (Live)
11.You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond (Live)

12.Radio Announcement (Live)
13.F.D.R. In Trinidad (Live)
14.More Sleepy John Estes Stories (Live)
15.Floating Bridge (Live)
16.Billy the Kid (Live)

17.Ditty Wah Ditty (Live)
18.Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (Live)
19.Jesus Is on the Mainline (Live)
20.Going to Brownsville (Live)

ry cooder


Ry Cooder needs little introduction to a large majority as he has come to dominate the respect and admiration metered out by numerous artists and critics over the last five decades.  Since the Sixties with the Rising Sons, Ry Cooder has been a formidable host, presenting guitar sounds that hark back to primal bottleneck blues, country, jazz, Hawaiian slack-key guitar, Bahamian folk music and countless other styles. He’s combined varying musical idioms into his own eclectic style as one of the world’s foremost performers of roots music. Ry Cooder’s pioneering musicianship can never be overestimated likewise, his impact on world music and it’s profound influence on many of his contemporaries.  Echoes’ presents the entire WMMS-FM broadcast, allowing the listener a chance to share the stage with this incredible talent as it happened in Cleveland, Ohio on 12th December 1972. Now available on Amazon,


This recording from KSAN’s broadcast series, captured at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, 1974 is essentially a solo acoustic show with Ry Cooder, although longtime associates Jim Dickinson and Jim Keltner participate on bass and drums, respectively. Ry Cooder was promoting his third solo album, ‘Paradise and Lunch,’ which most critics still regard as his best LP to date. Among the highlights from this Record Plant session are ‘Police Dog Blues,’ ‘F.D.R. in Trinidad,’ ‘If Walls Could Talk,’ ‘Billy The Kid,’ and ‘Comin’ In On a Wing and a Prayer,’ which he dedicated to then-President Nixon for his mishandling of the Vietnam War. Ironically, less than four weeks after this recording was made, Nixon resigned from his presidency. Now available at Amazon




Back in September, Jackson Browne captured the spirit of Americana — both literally and figuratively. During the awards ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Browne was bestowed with the Association’s Spirit of America Award and took the stage for a delicate version of “The Long Way Around,”

From his 14th studio album, Standing in the Breach, “The Long Way Around” is a smooth, contemplative shuffle about the ills of the modern world: gun violence, inequality and tragedy after tragedy, each forgotten the moment another news story rolls around. Browne’s always had an adept hand at tackling politics with poetry, and his lyrics here are soft and direct. “It’s never been that hard to buy a gun/Now they’ll sell a Glock 19 to just about anyone,” he sings. “The seeds of tragedy are there/and what we feel we have the right to bear.”
At the awards, Browne spoke upon accepting his honor about the craft of songwriting and awaking the ability to see your work from an almost out-of-body place. “Writing a song is a little bit like trying to say some things into the space in front of you and see if it sounds right,” he said at the podium.

Browne is currently on a world tour through 2015, supporting his new release, and has continued to speak out politically as well as through song. “The biggest enemy of human rights is business,” he recently told The Nation. “It’s corruption and people treating other people as if they’re expendable. And the word that gets thrown around all the time in our — ‘American interests.’ You can say anything as long as I’m ‘defending American interests.’ What the hell are they? What the hell are our interests if not to have a safe environment and prosperity for everybody? And that’s why I get specific in some of these songs.”