Ry Cooder's "Election Special" Named Uncut Album of the Month; Cooder to Play Kennedy Center Woody Guthrie Centenary Concert
The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, has announced the line-up for This Land Is Your Land, a concert celebrating the life and work of Woody Guthrie during this, the folk legend's centennial year. Ry Cooder will be performing in the special event on Sunday, October 14, as will Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Morello, Old Crow Medicine Show, and many others. Tickets, on sale now for Kennedy Center members, go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 8, at kennedy-center.org.
Reviewing Ry Cooder's 2011 album Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, Uncut magazine described Cooder as "a modern-day Woody Guthrie." The magazine has now named his forthcoming album, Election Special, its Album of the Month. "In a recording career that stretches back more than four decades, Cooder has never before made an album as immediate as Election Special," writes Uncut's Bud Scoppa.
Election Special, due out August 21 on Perro Verde / Nonesuch Records, is a wake-up call as the US heads into the 2012 fall election season. On the album, which he produced, Cooder plays mandolin, guitar, and bass and wrote all of the songs, co-writing one with Joachim Cooder, who plays drums on the record.
The album "is an impassioned screed against the dumbing down of America," says Scoppa. "But this is an uncommonly persuasive screed, because it's set up not as polemic but rather as a series of vignettes, its harsh judgments lurking within sharply drawn narratives in which not a word is wasted. Cooder avoids preaching to the converted by opting not to preach at all—not in any conventional way, at least. Instead, he creates and inhabits three-dimensional characters whose beliefs and opinions span the political spectrum of America in 2012."
Read the complete review as well as an interview with Cooder in the latest issue of Uncut, on newsstands now.
Mojo gives Election Special four stars. "Ry has proved equal to the crying need of the times," writes Mojo's Mat Snow. "Starting with 2005's brilliant Chavez Ravine, his so-called 'LA trilogy' broadened in scope over its two successors, My Name Is Buddy and I, Flathead, to embrace the entire nation." Cooder's most recent album, "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down kept up the pace, and just 12 months later Election Special seizes its moment and the soapbox." Read the review and a Q&A with Cooder in the latest issue of Mojo, out now.
To reserve a copy of Election Special on CD and vinyl, head to the Nonesuch Store now, where pre-orders include an exclusive campaign-style button and bumper sticker and an instant download of the album's opening track, "Mutt Romney Blues."