- Album name: Ry Cooder
- Artist name: Ry Cooder
- Year: 1970
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Reprise Records
- Collection: Friedman
- Buy it on Amazon: $125.77
Level of familiarity before listening
I don’t have any familiarity with Ry Cooder at all, as far as I know.
What I expected
What it was actually like
This was mostly blues, and all the songs except one were covers, but all of them were primarily about Cooder’s guitar skills.
A few low points were Available Space, the only original song, and Dark Is the Night, which were both quick instrumental jams rather than fully thought out songs.
I also was not very impressed by One Meat Ball, which I had to interpret as a novelty song due to its slightly goofily and atonally Oompa Loompa sound, and lyrics about someone who… could only afford one meatball in a restaurant.
Cooder’s version of Lead Belly’s song Pigmeat was also not great. I strongly disliked the horns that gave it a very unnecessarily cacophonous and Oompa Loompa sound.
A high point, on the other hand, was Do Re Mi, a rock reinterpration of the Woodie Guthrie song that was totally the same song but also totally different (and here is a hilarious Oompa Loompa version). I also loved How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?, another rock version of a folk classic with electric guitar solo.
Police Dog Blues was acoustic, with much more adventurous guitar than one would normally hear in a blues song like that, and Goin’ to Brownsville was similar (though I suspect that it might not have been about the Brownsville near me).
4/5: would listen again