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Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down

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iTunes Review

Master guitarist and musical chameleon Ry Cooder tackles some serious subjects with characteristic wit and humor on Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down. Taking a cue from his hero Woody Guthrie, Cooder delivers a batch of topical and political songs in the grand folk music tradition. He takes on greedy bankers waiting on a handout on “No Banker Left Behind,” the plight of illegal immigrants on “Quick Sand” and “Dirty Chateau,” and the home front realities of modern war on “Baby Joined the Army” and “Christmas Time This Year,” the latter set to an upbeat Mexican accordion melody (by Flaco Jimenez) that belies the horror of the lyrics. “I Want My Crown” and “No Hard Feelings” takes aim at resource speculators, oil barons, and war profiteers, and “If There’s a God” is a funky satire about legislation that limits entrance to heaven to the wealthy. Cooder has long been partial to concept albums and this one flows especially well thanks to good stories, a stellar backing band, and his own distinct blend of Tex-Mex, soul, blues, and gospel. His voice is in fine form, too, as he tweaks it slightly from song to song to fit whatever character he’s representing at the time.

Customer Reviews

Woody Guthrie Lives

Who better than Ry Cooder to document this generation's Great Depression, with its "Dust Bowl" of joblessness, foreclosures, dishonest bankers and a decade of seemingly endless and pointless war. With "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down," Cooder, a master of authentic Americana, continues in the Woody Guthrie-esque vein he began so ably with 2007's "My Name is Buddy." Once again, he explores the soul of America's disenfranchised, but this time his commentary cuts deeper and holds an urgency that was sometimes lacking in "Buddy." Cooder pulls no punches in his criticism of the financial system with "No Banker Left Behind," or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have seemed to accomplish nothing more than to maim a generation of young soldiers ("Christmas Time This Year"). Forty years on from his first album, Cooder remains one of music's vital voices and one of its greatest blues players. This is a protest record for our time, and one that would make Woody proud.


This is an album that should be required listening...and not just among us old fogies who grew up with Cooder and his contemporaries.
What Neil Young tried to do a few years back with "Living With War," Cooder pulls off with even more powerful sentiment, and artistic vision. Cooder shines a light on the darkness that has overcome us, and that has been in the process of overcoming us for the last decade or so. Sunshine is the best antiseptic, and Cooder exposes the hypocrisy of our current leadership, values, and money obsessed society. He speaks for those who have no voice, but he does so in a way that isn't overly preachy, or obvious. We've been waiting for music to matter since the 1960's came to an end. Cooder is doing his part here. It would be nice if other artists-- especially those that reach a younger audience (are you listening, Lady GaGa, and Justin Bieber, and Justin Timberlake, and Lil' Wayne, and Beyonce, and countless others?)-- picked up the torch and spread the word.

Music + Politics + Social Commentary

It takes guts to combine these 3. Heck - it worked for Dylan. Ry Cooder has certainly earned the right to speak his mind. I am still digesting this album. So far - thumbs up for "Humpty Dumpty World" and "If There's a God".


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 1965 with...
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