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  • Thursday, June 24, 2010
    New Ry Cooder Single, "Quicksand," Inspired by Arizona Immigration Battle, Out on iTunes June 29; Proceeds to Benefit MALDEF

    In response to the immigration battle currently raging in the United States, six-time Grammy winner Ry Cooder wrote "Quicksand," a slow-burning rocker that tells the story of six would-be immigrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. The track, which will be released exclusively on iTunes on June 29, features Cooder's son Joachim on drums, along with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles. Cooder has chosen MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, to receive all proceeds from sales of the single. You can now listen to the complete track, which premiered exclusively on NPR's All Songs Considered blog earlier today on npr.org.

    Thirst, hunger, injury, and fear befalls Cooder’s immigrants during their journey. "Quicksand I think we lost direction," he laments in the chorus, referring to more than just the song’s protagonists, "I think we're sinking down." At the border, a vigilante in a Dodge Ram turns away the song's only two survivors. "I think you'd take more pity on rescue pit bull dogs," the narrator pleads before turning around to face his death sentence in the scorching heat of the desert. You can read the complete song lyrics here.

    “The Devil’s Highway has been used by migrants traveling on foot for over 100 years,” says Cooder. “You should try it sometime. Out there, temperatures can get above 130 degrees. If you fall down, you have religious hallucinations, then you die, cooking from the inside out. If you get lucky, you might make it to Yuma, but then what? That's no comfort station they run up there, cabron.”

    MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz says, "Defeating Arizona's SB 1070—and the potential copycat laws that have since been announced by unscrupulous legislators around the nation—will require a broad national community effort to reinforce the constitutional principles and values that characterize our nation. Our heartfelt thanks to Ry Cooder for being a leader in that necessary community effort." For more information on the organization and its efforts, visit maldef.org.

    Accompanying the single is original artwork by celebrated Latino artist Vincent Valdez, whose work has appeared on previous Cooder albums and on exhibition in numerous museums including the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

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New Ry Cooder Single, "Quicksand," Inspired by Arizona Immigration Battle, Out on iTunes June 29; Proceeds to Benefit MALDEF

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on June 23, 2010 - 2:33pm
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Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 15:00
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In response to the immigration battle currently raging in the US, Ry Cooder wrote the song "Quicksand," which tells the story of six would-be immigrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. The track will be released exclusively on iTunes on June 29, with proceeds going to MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; it has now premiered exclusively on NPR's All Songs Considered blog.

Copy: 

In response to the immigration battle currently raging in the United States, six-time Grammy winner Ry Cooder wrote "Quicksand," a slow-burning rocker that tells the story of six would-be immigrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. The track, which will be released exclusively on iTunes on June 29, features Cooder's son Joachim on drums, along with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles. Cooder has chosen MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, to receive all proceeds from sales of the single. You can now listen to the complete track, which premiered exclusively on NPR's All Songs Considered blog earlier today on npr.org.

Thirst, hunger, injury, and fear befalls Cooder’s immigrants during their journey. "Quicksand I think we lost direction," he laments in the chorus, referring to more than just the song’s protagonists, "I think we're sinking down." At the border, a vigilante in a Dodge Ram turns away the song's only two survivors. "I think you'd take more pity on rescue pit bull dogs," the narrator pleads before turning around to face his death sentence in the scorching heat of the desert. You can read the complete song lyrics here.

“The Devil’s Highway has been used by migrants traveling on foot for over 100 years,” says Cooder. “You should try it sometime. Out there, temperatures can get above 130 degrees. If you fall down, you have religious hallucinations, then you die, cooking from the inside out. If you get lucky, you might make it to Yuma, but then what? That's no comfort station they run up there, cabron.”

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz says, "Defeating Arizona's SB 1070—and the potential copycat laws that have since been announced by unscrupulous legislators around the nation—will require a broad national community effort to reinforce the constitutional principles and values that characterize our nation. Our heartfelt thanks to Ry Cooder for being a leader in that necessary community effort." For more information on the organization and its efforts, visit maldef.org.

Accompanying the single is original artwork by celebrated Latino artist Vincent Valdez, whose work has appeared on previous Cooder albums and on exhibition in numerous museums including the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

featuredimage: 
Ry Cooder: "Quicksand" [cover]

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