Skip to Navigation


Ry Cooder Talks to BBC World Service’s “The Strand” About His New Album, “Election Special”

Ry Cooder: "Election Special" [cover]

Ry Cooder, whose new album, Election Special, was released this week on Perro Verde / Nonesuch Records, is the guest on today’s episode of The Strand, the daily arts program from the BBC World Service. Cooder talks with host Mark Coles about the new album, a wake-up call for this fall's US election, and what motivated him to speak out through its songs.

"Here we are in the middle of an incredibly critical Presidential campaign ... and all these issues are brought to the front," says Cooder. "Martin Luther King used to say do something if you can, something you could do. If it was writing a speech or a book or singing or marching, do it, when the need is there. So that’s what I’m doing.”

Cooder goes on to discuss his process for crafting the songs on the album, why he chose to structure them as he did, and his hopes for spreading the message. Hear what he has to say on The Strand at

To pick up a copy of Election Special, head to the Nonesuch Store, where, for a limited time, CD and vinyl orders include an exclusive campaign-style button and bumper sticker.


Every album Ry's done since (into the purple valley) has always had a song about trouble and strife for the poor man . He personifies Woody Guthrie in the sense that things seemingly out of our control can be corrected if we will protest to the point that someone may listen and join in to find a solution. What wonderful way to be optimistic in this day and time. I always look foward to Ry's next project. Loving me some of Ry's funk down here in North Mississippi home to the legendary Mud Boy (aka Jim Dickinson)! Long live Ry Cooder.

The current effort to lock-down this country has obviously (if you listen to his two latest CD's) inspired Ry to put out his best work in years. All of his work is a pleasure, but this is timeless stuff- even though it is topical- Just like Paradise and Chicken Skin back in the 70s. Ry, if you ever get to DC, come see me!

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.