I remember hearing Ry Cooder doing a guest DJ spot on the radio in the early seventies. He was known as a fine guitarist and idiosyncratic artist with a resume that included work with Captain Beefheart, the Rolling Stones and Van Morrsion. This day he was playing old 78s from obscure marching bands and municipal orchestras. The lumpy rhythms and slightly out-of-tune horns presaged the music that would become the album "Paradise and Lunch." After that came recordings of Conjunto music, a number of fine film soundtracks, and projects like the hugely successful "Buena Vista Social Club." Looking back over the decades of avant garde music, slide guitar, Elvis remakes, blues excursions, African (and Indian, and Hawaiian) collaborations and tons of great albums it wouldn't be at all unfair at all to ask "Who is that guy?"
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That seemingly unanswerable question is addressed by a new compilation assembled by Cooder's son Joachim. The UFO Has Landed is a two-disc retrospective that samples the decades, styles and bands that have made up Cooder's career. Humor, vitality and great guitar playing weave these diverse recordings into a tapestry of world music, Americana, and film work, and illustrate why Ry Cooder has remained relevant to generations of listeners. Check this one out.
Other Ry Cooder recordings at the library:
A Meeting By The River
Buena Vista Social Club
Paradise and Lunch
My Name Is Buddy