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Election Special

Ry Cooder

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

With his dashing good looks, pencil-thin mustache, and athlete’s build, Cisco Houston looked more movie star than folk singer. He was bumming around the fringes of Hollywood in the late ‘30s, trying to land bit film parts, when he met singer Woody Guthrie, who was then performing on the local KFVD radio station. Woody and Cisco forged a quick friendship and made an immediate musical connection; Houston, though naturally a baritone, could sing high tenor harmonies that perfectly complemented Guthrie’s rougher sing-speak style of delivery. Houston spent years as Guthrie’s protégé, learning guitar at his elbow and absorbing his formidable repertoire of traditional and original songs. Eventually, Cisco emerged as a performer in his own right, and this collection gathers together two 10-inch EPs that he recorded for the label in the early ‘50s. Houston’s delivery is far more formal and self-consciously dramatic than his mentor’s, and these songs have a theatrical quality that anticipates the more stylized work of ‘60s-era folk revivalists like Dave Van Ronk and Peter Lafarge.

Customer Reviews

5 stars for the music

It seems every review on this music is based on the political leanings of the reviewer. I have never seen more 5 and 1 star reviews. No middle ground. I am a music loving conservative and big Ry Cooder fan. This is some of his strongest music in years (a great accomplishment given his recent releases). If I had to agree with the politics of everything I listened to, I would probably have to throw away half of my music collection.

Good to Hear!

For those of you lamenting about his politics-the only question I would ask is what have you been listening to for all these years? Ry's first album, with songs like Do Re Mi & How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live should've been a pretty clear indication of where he was headed on the political spectrum. If you don't know the man's story, don't show the world how ignorant you are about it please? Like others, I welcome the sounds on this latest offering. Ry's slide sounds as strong as ever & the acoustic songs could've come off any one of his old Warner Brothers albums. Nice to hear

Great nerve, great courage

I don't think this is going to make many GOP Top 10 lists, but it's a perfect sentiment: using older blues and folk forms to voice a contemporary critique of our politics. Musically, it makes the same point as Springsteen's latest album: All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.....

Biography

Born: March 15, 1947 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder began his career in 1963 in a blues band with Jackie DeShannon and then formed the short-lived Rising Sons in...
Full Bio