LA Times Cites Ry Cooder's "Quicksand" Among Five Great Songs About Immigration
On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its ruling in the case against Arizona immigration law SB 1070, striking down much of the law but upholding the "show-me-your-papers" provision. To mark the ruling, the Los Angeles Times' Pop & Hiss music blog, noting that musicians have long sung about the plight of immigrants, has put together a list of "five great songs about immigration that are worth revisiting," including first among them Ry Cooder's "Quicksand," along with an eclectic list of songs by Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Woody Guthrie, and Led Zeppelin.
"For decades, Cooder has written blues-rock at the junction of L.A.'s Anglo and Latino cultures," writes the Pop & Hiss contributor August Brown. "'Quicksand' is one of his most vivid character sketches about a harrowing border crossing."
Ry Cooder, in fact, wrote "Quicksand" in direct response to the passing of SB 1070 in 2010. He first released the song as a stand-alone single on iTunes with all proceeds going to MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The song features Cooder on vocals, guitar, and bass; his son Joachim on drums; along with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles. The artwork for the single, pictured above, features the piece Nuthin' to See Here, Keep on Movin'! by frequent Cooder collaborator Vincent Valdez.
Cooder would later rework and re-record the song as "Quick Sand" for his 2011 album, Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Perro Verde/Nonesuch Records), which Uncut calls "one of his best albums ever ... an impassioned portrait of 21st century America and its injustices." His latest album, Election Special, a wake-up call as the US heads into the 2012 fall election season, is due out on August 21.
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