Please remember that before musicians, PR drones, radio geneticists, and SoundScan devised lazy clichés as 'authentic, roots oriented Americana' and 'world musics' as buzz words and micro-playlists, Ry Cooder—guitar in hand and ears wide open to whatever riff blew across Chavez Ravine—was playing Chicano Rn'B Tex Mex Hawaiian Appalachian blues funk as naturally as he breathed.
So as nifty and groove-ilicious as this 34-track anthology is, it barely scratches the surface of the legacy Cooder has accomplished in his spotlight shunning, masterful way. Whether solo (Paradise and Lunch, Chicken Skin Music, this year's consummate I, Flathead); sideman (I'll unabashedly namedrop just a few: Randy Newman, The Stones, Ronstadt, Flaco Jimenez, Zevon, Muldaur, Taj Mahal, Beefeheart, and Pat Boone—Yes! Pat Boone!); film scorer (among many Alamo Bay, Paris, Texas, Dead Man Walking); and producer/musicologist (Buena Vista Social Club, anyone?) Cooder may, after forty-plus years, appear the high brow priest of eclecticism, and if that's your take you haven't heard a damn thing the man has played! The slink and seduction, growl and silk, the blue dust and vibrant dance of every note played and the spaces left open runs contrary to what those damned micro-playlists vainly try to segregate: That all music is mutual, the voice of many people dancing as one.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles