Ry Cooder

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brett Hartenbach
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brett Hartenbach
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/1995
  • Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
  • UPC: 075992751025
  • Catalog Number: 6402
  • Sales rank: 53,924

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ry Cooder Primary Artist, Primary Artist, 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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