Wednesday, 14 April 2010

World Music Heroes No. 2: Ry Cooder

Thinking and talking about World Music Hero No 1: Charlie Gillett (see first post); and discussing these things with The Old Man. He, rightly, reminded me of the huge importance of Ry Cooder in what is now known as World Music.

Now Ry Cooder himself was first brought to my ears and attention by John Peel; and possibly by writings in "Rolling Stone". (My reading matter of choice during the late 1960s and early 1970s.) And as such I thought of him as some kind of guitar hero - which he is - and a great musician in his own right. (Including film music with the score of "Paris, Texas" directed by Wim Wenders.)

But he also worked and continues to work with musicians from other music cultures big time, long time. Not just by recording and performing with them; V.M Bhatt, Ali Farka Toure - but by the straightforward recording and promoting of the artists themselves. The aforementioned Hawaiian artist Gaby Pahinui was recorded by Ry Cooder in 1975. And then there are those Cuban "all time star hits", the Buena Vista Social Club.

Back at the old homestead, I have to admit that The Old Man shows good taste in the content of his record collection. Though I personally found the "hand bells" album a bridge too far. I find plenty, plenty Ry Cooder on his music shelves, including: "Chicken Skin Music", "Meeting by the River", "Paris Texas", "Chavez Ravine", "My name is Buddy", and "I, Flathead".

Listen up people. Pay due respect. Investigate and enjoy.

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