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 on Nonesuch / Perro Verde Records. He spoke about the new album with the 4 O'Clock Report with Jon Wiener on Pacifica Radio's KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. Wiener plays four tracks from the new album: “Crazy ‘bout an Automobile,” “Do Re Mi,” “Lord Tell Me Why,” and “School Is Out" (not to mention the program's opening and closing theme music, "Mambo Sinuendo," the title track to Cooder's 2003 collaborative album with Manuel Galbán). You can listen to the complete episode online and as a podcast via jonwiener.com; Cooder's segment begins about 39 minutes in to the show.
Recorded in 2011 during a special two-night engagement with the Corridos Famosos band at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, Live in San Francisco includes 12 songs and was produced by Cooder. The band includes Joachim Cooder on drums; Robert Francis on bass; vocalists Terry Evans, Arnold McCuller, and Juliette Commagere; Flaco Jimenez on accordion; and the ten-piece Mexican brass band La Banda Juvenil.
"Once this man hits the high beams and races into it, there is A+ action guaranteed," exclaims Bill Bentley in his review of the new album for The Morton Report. "Everything from 'Boomer's Story' to 'The Dark End of the Street' to 'Volver Volver' and, finally, 'Goodnight Irene' is given the deluxe Cooder touch. Adding to the excitement is an audience that sounds like they are having the time of their life watching the night unfold ... [I]t's like the roof flies right off the building as the band levitates into the sky. It's called live music and there is nothing better."
MusicOMH calls it "a terrific encapsulation of an unlikely, remarkable career, one that has surprisingly only gotten stronger as Cooder has gotten older. Live in San Francisco proves that Cooder is ... a master at telling others’ stories and telling the stories of our times.”
The album earns a perfect five stars from The Australian. “The Americana guru responds with a commanding performance as guitarist, vocalist and musical director," writes reviewer Tony Hillier. "The tasteful and purposeful electric guitar playing for which Cooder is renowned is evident in a couple of impeccably constructed solos.”
Live in San Francisco is available now on iTunes and in the Nonesuch Store, where vinyl and CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout, and the album is also available to purchase as MP3 and FLAC files. The vinyl edition includes the complete album on two 140-gram LPs and on CD.