TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the September 2022 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
By the time he was aged 22, Ry Cooder was already a veteran of the music business and in great demand as a studio musician and sideman. Shortly after signing a contract with Warner Music in 1969, he released his first album under his own name, placing his confidence in the musical talent he had developed since being a child and on the rare value of his favorite instrument, the steel guitar.
The present LP that carries his name is a fascinating blend of blues, folk, rock 'n' roll and pop - a unique mixture, which combines superb songs, virtuosic playing and somewhat bizarre yet imaginative arrangements. For material, Cooder, the son of folklorist parents, dug out ten gems coming from over six decades, right back to the 1920s - by legends such as Woody Guthrie, Blind Blake, Sleepy John Estes and Leadbelly, as well as a more up-to-date Randy Newman composition. As magnificent as his choice might be, it is the exuberant charm of his own instrumental composition "Available Space" that almost steals the show here. Expansive and unbiased, Cooder plays an ironic game made up of wordless irregular phrases, which promise the listener something new and ultimately circle in an infinite loop.
Cooder's need to prove himself, moderated by his veneration for the past, helps to create a completely original work that will prove rewarding for the adventurous listener.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head.
...unlike anything anyone had heard before, something that reflected vast knowledge of and love for American traditional music as well as an understanding of modern recording techniques. A case could be made that this was the beginning of the 'Americana' style, and without doubt it would point the way for Cooder's continued stylistic explorations. Van Dyke Parks' arrangement of 'One Meat Ball' takes this arranging approach to an almost baroque level. Some might see this as overcooking, but when the results are this delicious, who cares?
- 180g High Quality Vinyl
- Pure Analogue
- Made from the original, analogue master tapes
- Pressed at Pallas in Germany
|Ry Cooder||vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass|
|Van Dyke Parks||piano|
|Milt Holland||drums, percussion|
|Gloria Jones||backing vocals|
- France Chance
- One Meat Ball
- Do Re Mi
- My Old Kentucky Home
- How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?
- Available Space
- Pig Meat
- Police Dog Blues
- Goin' To Brownsville
- Dark Is The Night