Ry Cooder

I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of Ry Cooder, but he’s been one of my favorite musicians for years. Not a piano pounder but a great song writer. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him the 8th greatest guitar player of all time.

Though Cooder has been in the music business since the ’60s and played with greats like Randy Newman, Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal, Mick Jagger and has written many film scores I’d never heard of him until one evening aboard Jolie Aire in Antibes, France I tuned in to a show called Les Enfents du Rock and saw him singing this song…

Now, I haven’t stepped into a church since my dad’s memorial service a half dozen years ago and I hold “organized” religion in the highest, or lowest, contempt no matter if it’s fundamentalist Christian, fundamentalist Muslim, or ultra-orthodox Jewish. Take your pick, they’re all horrible in my book. But that doesn’t preclude me from enjoying Gospel music. In fact I LOVE Gospel music. It’s the basis for rock and roll, rhythm and blues and just plain blues. It’s putting into action the injunction to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” and it touches me in a very spiritual way. The last time I attended the New Orleans Jazz Festival I spent five days in the Gospel Tent only going outside one time to see Roy Orbison which, in and of itself, was a spiritual event.

Riding up the mountain from David this afternoon I was listening to The Zion Harmonizers singing the following song but couldn’t find them doing it on You Tube but Ry has this version.

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One response to “Ry Cooder

  1. I think you must have been the one who introduced me to Ry Cooder. I can’t think who else it could have been ;-)

    And the song “Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile” reminds me of another great one by the Persuasions – “Christian’s Automobile”. They did it on their a capella album called “Street Corner Symphony”. There are some cuts from that album on youtube, but not “Christian’s Automobile”, so we’ll make do with the Dixie Hummingbirds.

    Dixie Hummingbirds are great. Also include the various “Blind Boy” gospel groups, The Zion Harmonizers and the myriad other groups few “honkies” are aware of and you have a wonderful genre of “get up on your feet and dance” music that can’t be beat.