Ry Cooder - Goin' To Brownsville - Classic Blues Videos
solo on Mandolin on the OGWT in 1973
Blues guitar master Ry Cooder performs "Goin' To Brownsville" on Mandolin on the television show Old Grey Whistle Test in London, England in 1973.
Ryland "Ry" Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947) is a US guitarist, singer and composer.
He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in blues-rock, roots music from his native North America, and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.
Cooder's solo work has been an eclectic mix, taking in dust bowl folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock, and much else. He has collaborated with many important musicians, including The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Earl Hines, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart, The Chieftains, John Lee Hooker, Pops, Mavis Staples, Gabby Pahinui, Flaco Jiménez, Freddy Fender and Ali Farka Touré. He formed the Little Village supergroup with Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, and Jim Keltner.
Cooder was ranked 8th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." A 2010 ranking by Gibson placed him at #32.
During the 1960s, Cooder briefly attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Cooder first attracted attention in the 1960s, playing with Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, after previously having worked with Taj Mahal in the Rising Sons. He also played with Randy Newman at this time, including on 12 Songs and possibly Newman's first album, Randy Newman. Van Dyke Parks worked with Newman and then with Cooder during the 60s. Parks arranged Cooder's "One Meatball" according to Parks' 1984 interview by Bob Claster.
Cooder was a guest session musician on various recording sessions with the Rolling Stones in 1968 and 1969, and his contributions appear on the Stones' Let It Bleed (mandolin on "Love in Vain"), and Sticky Fingers, on which he contributed the slide guitar on "Sister Morphine". During this period, Cooder joined with Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and longtime Rolling Stones sideman Nicky Hopkins to record "Jamming with Edward". Cooder also played slide guitar for the 1970 movie Performance, which contained Mick Jagger's first solo single, "Memo from Turner". The 1975 Rolling Stones compilation album Metamorphosis features an uncredited Cooder on Bill Wyman's "Downtown Suzie", which is also the first Rolling Stones song played and recorded in the open G tuning.
Throughout the 1970s, Cooder released a series of Warner Bros. Records albums that showcased his guitar work. Cooder, like a musicologist or treasure hunter, explored bygone musical genres and found great old-time recordings which he then, as a musician, personalized with sensitive, updated reworkings. Thus, on his breakthrough album, Into the Purple Valley, he chose unusual instrumentations and performed his own arrangements of old Black blues and gospel songs, a Calypso, white country music songs (giving a tempo change to the cowboy ballad, "Billy the Kid"), and — to open the album — a protest song, "How Can You Keep on Moving (Unless You Migrate Too)" by Agnes "Sis" Cunningham about the Okies who were not welcomed with open arms when they migrated to escape the Dust Bowl in the 1930s — to which he gave a rousing-yet-satirical march accompaniment. Cooder's later '70s albums (with the exception of Jazz) do not fall under a single genre description, but — to generalize broadly — it might be fair to call Cooder's self titled first album blues; Into the Purple Valley, Boomer's Story, and Paradise and Lunch, folk and blues; Chicken Skin Music and Showtime, a unique melange of Tex-Mex and Hawaiian; Jazz, 1920s jazz; Bop Till You Drop, '50's R&B; and Borderline and Get Rhythm, eclectic rock-based excursions. Cooder's 1979 album Bop Till You Drop was the first popular music album to be recorded digitally. It yielded his biggest hit, an R&B cover version of Elvis Presley's 1960s recording "Little Sister". Ry Cooder is credited on Van Morrison's 1979 album, Into the Music, for slide guitar on the song "Full Force Gale".
Cooder has worked as a studio musician and has also scored many film soundtracks including Wim Wenders film Paris, Texas (1984). Cooder based this soundtrack and title song "Paris, Texas" on Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)", which he described as "The most soulful, transcendent piece in all American music." "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" was also the basis for Cooder's song "Powis Square" for the movie Performance. His other film work includes Walter Hill's The Long Riders (1980), Southern Comfort (1981), Brewster's Millions (1985), Last Man Standing (1996), Hill's Trespass (1992) and Mike Nichols' Primary Colors (1998). Cooder dubbed all slide guitar parts in the 1986 film Crossroads, a take on the blues legend, Robert Johnson. In 1988, Cooder produced the album by his longtime backing vocalists Bobby King and Terry Evans on Rounder Records titled Live and Let Live. He contributed his slide guitar work to every track. He also plays extensively on their 1990 self produced Rounder release Rhythm, Blues, Soul & Grooves.
In the early 1990s Cooder collaborated on two world music "crossover" albums, which blended the traditional American musical genres that Cooder has championed throughout his career with the contemporary improvised music of India and Africa. For A Meeting by the River (1993), which also featured his son Joachim on percussion, he teamed with Hindustani classical musician V.M. Bhatt, a virtuoso of the Mohan Veena, a modified 20-string archtop guitar of Bhatt's own invention. In 1995 he teamed with African multi-instrumentalist Ali Farka Toure on the album Talking Timbuktu, which he also produced; the album also featured longtime Cooder collaborator Jim Keltner on drums, veteran blues guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, jazz bassist John Patitucci and African percussionists and musicians including Hamma Sankare and Oumar Toure. Both albums won the Grammy Award for 'Best World Music Album' in 1994 and 1995 respectively. Cooder also worked with Tuvan throat singers for the score to the 1993 film Geronimo: An American Legend.
In the late 1990s Cooder played a significant role in the increased appreciation of traditional Cuban music, due to his collaboration as producer of the Buena Vista Social Club (1997) recording, which became a worldwide hit and revived the careers of some of the greatest surviving exponents of 20th century Cuban music. Wim Wenders, who had previously directed 1985's Paris Texas, directed a documentary film of the musicians involved, Buena Vista Social Club (1999) which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.
Wikipedia contributors. "Ry Cooder." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 Oct. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2010.