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Election Special

Election Special cover art
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News & Reviews

  • Ry Cooder's "Live in San Francisco" Featured in The New Yorker

    Ry Cooder's first live record in more than 35 years, Live in San Francisco, is featured in an article from The New Yorker's Alec Wilkinson titled "Ry Cooder, Live Again." Wilkinson traces Cooder's career through his studio recordings—"Cooder’s catalogue, reflecting his capacious intelligence, is the broadest and deepest in popular music"—to the new live album. "The solos open like rooms, one into another," writes Wilkinson. "Some of the rooms are still as night, and in others the audience shouts like congregants cheering a preacher."

  • Ry Cooder Talks with KPFK's Jon Weiner About New Album, "Live in San Francisco"

    Ry Cooder's new album, Live in San Francisco, his first live album in more than 35 years, was released earlier this month. He spoke about the new album on the 4 O'Clock Report with Jon Wiener on Pacifica Radio's KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles yesterday afternoon; the show also includes four tracks from the new album: “Crazy ‘bout an Automobile,” “Do Re Mi,” “Lord Tell Me Why,” and “School Is Out." The Morton Report says of Cooder's new album: "Once this man hits the high beams and races into it, there is A+ action guaranteed ... It's called live music and there is nothing better."

About this Album

Ry Cooder’s Election Special, due out from Nonesuch / Perro Verde Records on August 21, 2012, is a wake-up call as the United States heads into the fall election season.

“Howdy there neighbor—let me ask you something. Do you really think Charlie and Davy sit around on the couch with family and friends watching re-runs of Dancing with the Stars?," asks Cooder. "See, 'Wasting Away in Margaritaville' was a good song in its day, but we need a different kind of a song now if we’re going to make headway against the likes of Charlie and Dave. Those type of guys are plenty swift, they’re all deacons in the High Church of the Next Dollar. We need to get smarter, fast. The world is full of C and D students in high places and there’s more coming up all the time. Don’t be one.”

Cooder has this to say about the songs on the album:

 

  1. Mutt Romney Blues: Reverend Al Sharpton said, “How he treated his dog tells you a lot about him.” Where did Mitt Romney learn that hollow laugh of his? A correspondence course on how to scare your dog shitless? He sure scares me, I don’t mind telling you.
  2. Brother Is Gone: The only logical explanation for the Brothers I could come up with is, they made their deal at the crossroads with Satan. Satan will need to get paid, but in the meantime, they are doing everything in their power to hurt you and me. The big hurt.
  3. The Wall Street Part of Town: Is there a Wall Street part of town in your town? Start your own, it’s easy. When the police come, remind them that you pay their salary, such as it may be.
  4. Guantanamo: There’s a beautiful Cuban song about a country girl from Guantanamo. The lyrics were written over a hundred years ago, and they say something about peace and freedom, so I guess the problem hasn’t been solved yet. Prisons are the new growth industry.
  5. Cold Cold Feeling: The president, alone in the dark, walks the Oval Office floor. Before you criticize and accuse, walk a mile in his shoes.
  6. Going to Tampa: As a mother, will Sarah Palin lead the Republican convention in a prayer for Treyvon? Will “Stand Your Ground” stand? Don’t forget your bed sheet and keep your money in your shoes.
  7. Kool-Aid: A lament for this guy Zimmerman, and all the many Zimmermans. Too late, they find their masters have given them gun rights and new “Stand Your Ground” lynching laws instead of good paying jobs and secure futures. They drank the Kool-Aid, they really drank it down.
  8. The 90 and the 9: A possible political discussion between a father and child. Here in Los Angeles, they allow military recruiters in public schools. If you speak against it, they come down hard on you. I don’t even know what name you give to a criminal conspiracy like that.
  9. Take Your Hands off It: Woody said, “This land is your land.” There’s a famous photograph of a sign that reads, “Don’t let the big men take it away.” On the other hand, James Baldwin believed the concepts of nationhood such as freedom, equality, and democracy are superstitions, nothing more.

Cooder produced the album and wrote all of the songs. (“Take Your Hands off It” was co-written with Joachim Cooder). He sings and plays mandolin, guitar, and bass on the album, with Joachim on drums. Arnold McCuller sings harmony vocals on “Take Your Hands off It.”

For a taste of "Mutt Romney Blues," check out this short video by Brave New Films set to the tune:

 

Credits

MUSICIANS
Ry Cooder, vocals, guitars, mandolin, bass
Joachim Cooder, drums
Arnold McCuller, harmony vocals (9)

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Ry Cooder
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Martin Pradler at Wireland Studios, Chatsworth, CA, and Drive-By Studios, North Hollywood, CA

All songs written by Ry Cooder, except “Take Your Hands off It” by Ry Cooder and Joachim Cooder

Art Direction: Ry Cooder, Al Quattrocchi & Jeff Smith
Design: Tornado Design, Los Angeles
Photography: Joachim Cooder

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