Ry Cooder embraces old time and bluegrass influences

Ry Cooder - My Name Is BuddyRy Cooder is an artist who has been impossible to peg.

One project may be an affectionate, audiophile reexamination of 1920’s American jazz, and the next a recreation of 1950s dance music. He has recently emerged as a champion of Cuban and Chicano music, and is recognized by guitarists worldwide as among the instrument’s most skillful and creative practitioners.

His newest project, due this month (3/07) from Nonesuch Records, has him recording with a number of prominent old time, bluegrass and Celtic musicians. Mandolinist Roland White, banjo players Mike and Pete Seeger, and piper Paddy Maloney appear as guest artists.

My Name Is Buddy, is an allegorical concept piece, with animal characters Buddy Red Cat, Lefty Mouse and Reverend Tom Toad voicing Cooder’s dark vision of life among rural workers in the “American west of yesteryear.”

The CD also includes short stories Cooder composed for each song, illustrated by noted Texas muralist, Vincent Valdez. Depending on your political leaning, the stories may find you nodding in agreement, or rolling your eyes, but the music and production on My Name Is Buddy are up to Cooder’s high standards.

There are a few audio samples available on the Nonesuch site, with samples from each track at Amazon.com.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.