Boomer's Story

Boomer's Story

by Ry CooderRy Cooder


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Boomer's Story, Ry Cooder's third record, continues his archeological dig through music's familiar and forgotten past. As was the case with his previous recordings, he not only looks to the masters -- including blues legend Sleepy John Estes, songwriter Dan Penn (both of whom appear here) and the great Skip James -- for material, but to lost and neglected pieces of American folk and blues, as well. Cooder adds the traditional title-track, which opens the album, and Lawrence Wilson's "Crow Black Chicken," which dates back to the late 1920s, to this collection of discoveries -- both of which are handled with just the right balance of personality and reverence. Elsewhere, he injects a dark irony into the jingoistic "Rally 'Round the Flag," with its slow, mournful piano (played by Randy Newman) and slide guitar, while the Joseph Spence-style guitar arrangement of the World War II standard "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer" has a sense of hope and conviction. Often criticized for possessing a less than commanding voice, Cooder steps back from the microphone for four of the album's ten tracks -- three instrumentals and one featuring Sleepy John Estes on his own "President Kennedy." And while all of the instrumentals presented here are fine renditions of great tunes, it's "Dark End of the Street" which truly stands out. Here, Cooder realizes that the only thing in his arsenal that can do justice to James Carr's definitive version is his own remorseful slide guitar. Without uttering a single lyric, he's able to convey the shame and deep regret of the Dan Penn/Chips Moman classic. Thanks to moments like this, along with Cooder's consistently strong choice of material and brilliant guitar work, Boomer's Story -- less eccentric than his first, and less eclectic than Into the Purple Valley -- ranks among his best work

Product Details

Release Date: 12/13/1990
Label: Warner Records
UPC: 0075992639828
catalogNumber: 26398
Rank: 35371

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ry Cooder   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Sleepy John Estes   Guitar,Vocals
Randy Newman   Piano
Jim Keltner   Drums
Dan Penn   Vocals
George Bohannon   Horn
James Luther Dickinson   Bass,Piano,Vocals
Chris Ethridge   Bass
Gene Finney   Harmonica
Roger Hawkins   Drums
Milt Holland   Percussion
Charles Lawing   Clarinet
Tommy McClure   Bass

Technical Credits

James Luther Dickinson   Producer
John Fry   Engineer
Lee Herschberg   Engineer
Jerry Masters   Engineer
Richard Rosebrough   Engineer
Lenny Waronker   Producer
Judy Maizel   Producer

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