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Thread: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

  1. #1
    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    I think that Ry Cooder's work deserves attention here at the Cafe, being an important integrator of the mandolin into the wide ranging musical stew that he cooks up.

    I have just started listening to his new release, (listen here >>>) The Prodigal Son, and I suspect that it's his strongest work in years. I particularly like the two 'live in studio' videos that they've released with his son, Joachim adding some incredibly tasty drum work.



    Anyway, interested in others' thoughts - and will scout the album this week for mandolin content! ;-)
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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Yes, I think it's a strong piece of work. I liked the video, as well. I've liked his use of the Mandolin from way back, before I started playing Mandolin. He plays some rhythm Mandolin on Straight Street & I'll be Rested.
    I saw him live a few weeks ago in San Francisco with Rosanne Cash doing a whole show of Johnny Cash songs. It was intended to be a one time series of concerts. Rosanne had always avoided doing it, but Ry talked her into. Ry mainly played Guitars, but played an electric Octave Mandolin on a couple of tunes. Ry borrowed Luther Perkins' Guitar to use on some songs for the concert. Memorable night. Iconic.
    I plan to see him in June in Ann Arbor, Mi.
    I'm a Ry fan,
    Joe B

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Yes, excellent. I always loved his work. Strange but when he sings I can almost hear a banjo. Either they multi-tracked one or else Ry got that banjo sounds from his guitar. Is that a Hofner, BTW? Fancy looking one.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    This caught my eye in the video
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Described here: http://rycooder.nl/pages/ry_cooder_I...ps_effects.htm

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Yes, excellent. I always loved his work. Strange but when he sings I can almost hear a banjo. Either they multi-tracked one or else Ry got that banjo sounds from his guitar. Is that a Hofner, BTW? Fancy looking one.
    I hear banjo as well when he's singing.
    John
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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    As for the Banjo, other than his son on Drums & one track with a different bass player, Ry plays all the Guitars & Banjo, Mandolin, Bass, & Keyboards. There is a photo of what looks like a Banjo-Guitar, inside. On the Mandolin trax he is doubling the Banjo. There are a couple of trax with added vocalists.
    I like Ry's singing on this CD. I think he has aged into his voice well.
    Joe B

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    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Quote Originally Posted by vetus scotia View Post
    This caught my eye in the video
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	preamp.jpg 
Views:	68 
Size:	58.7 KB 
ID:	167861
    Described here: http://rycooder.nl/pages/ry_cooder_I...ps_effects.htm
    I was wondering what that thing was! RC always has his ears open for some new sound, without it coming off as forced. That Strat in the article you shared with a pedal steel pickup at the bridge and a Japanese foil pickup at the neck... he plays that one in the video, I think, and pulls a rich sound from it.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Ry Cooder has exposed me to more music than anyone else, and for that I'm extremely grateful.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Ry plays a Gibson F12 with a Bigsby pickup. Does anyone know the story of that mandolin? Did Bigsby actually install the pickup?
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Pretty classic and always tasteful Cooder stuff. Ry used a Variac when he did the tour with the Whites also; my electronics minded brother picked it out first thing. Ry, Ricky and Sharon sat at a table after the show and talked with the crowd as long as folks wanted. Very, very gracious, engaging and genuine people. They took the time to read all the signatures on the old banjo head. Sharon was a little hesitant about being the first lady signee, but she's one of my very favorite singers. Having been listening to Ry for a long time, i didn't even have the presence of mind to ask him what Flaco Jimenez was like as a person -- i'll always regret that.

    This was the only time i've seen Ry live, after passing up a show at the Mosque in Richmond around 1974. He was traveling with some unknown fellow by the name of Buffett.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    While his Latin and AFrican stuff was great, there's something about Ry doing Traditional American music that is special.. There is an African track on the album, which is a standout. But when he does gospel, blues, country - it's magic.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    We are used to and want to , and fishing for hearing the "positive".

    I am not, and never have been, a fan of Ry Cooder.
    Not trying to be a contrarian, just being honest and forthright.
    Don't like his music, do not like him.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    I still haven't made time to really dig into the new album but if you haven't heard the original gospel recording that inspired the Ry's cover, here's Straight Street by the Pilgrim Travelers. A big part of RC's secret sauce is his ability to borrow so freely, and have both his originality AND his love of the source shine through. In an age where artists can be judged harshly for how they incorporate styles and material - I've always felt that he gets it just right. Combining homage (usually) with deep skills and originality - the man finds his own way down that road where many artists get lost... even when their intentions are good.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    There's no real need to repeat this, but he's one of our greatest musical treasures.
    I've been a fan since Paradise and Lunch came out, and it's still one of my favorite albums.

    As far as Prodigal Son, it has a terrific sound -- that struck me from the first track.

    I have a feeling that the seeds of this album were likely sown when he was in Nashville for the Americana Awards, then toured with Ricky Skaggs and the White Family. I think that must have given him a chance to revisit his love of Gospel music.

    Anyway, it's a great disk with "no filler".

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    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    That Strat in the article you shared with a pedal steel pickup at the bridge and a Japanese foil pickup at the neck... he plays that one in the video, I think, and pulls a rich sound from it.
    My mistake - he plays the Strat that I mentioned above on THIS, the other live studio video, using it for an overdriven slide sound. Prodigal Son transformed into an unlikely homage to Ralph Mooney (pedal steel player for Merle Haggard!) Also, great.

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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    I thought this was pretty cool, too

    Clark Beavans

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    Robert Feivor RFMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Hey Jeff, you stated that politely and professionally and that's just fine. (Thank You) We each have things we like (and don't)

    You won't find an album by Lou Reed, KISS or the Who, Rolling Stones, etc. in my record collection either. - I hear the talent (to varying degrees) in all of these artists though - liking it and listening to it are two different stories though :-)

    I personally think Ry is a treasure and an utmost chaser of tone...and a great author as well i.e. Los Angeles Stories

    I wish we were all hearing for the positive again, seems those days are fading/almost gone....but same viewpoints aren't required and its certainly good to have polite discourse.

    Keep on picking!

  24. #18

    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Although he never achieved widespread commercial fame, Ry earned his place as an important figure in American acoustic/electric music -- he's played with so many different folks and his sound graces a lot of recordings, much of it "studio work" for others.

    He's come a long, long way for having been a former Bluegrass Boy for a few nights with Mr. Monroe...!

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    To the best of my knowledge he has always been very open and forthcoming about acknowledging the artists who have inspired him and urging listeners to check out their work.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Without being provocative, I get you mightn't like the music - fair enough. Why don't you like him? (I'm really just curious)
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Are you deaf BTW ???

  29. #22

    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    RY has played with everyone!
    The Stones ( Ernest)
    He his just great 👍
    This album is also great 👍

  30. #23

    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    "Harbor of Love" on that new CD is the one that I can't stop listening to. As far as mandolin, his version of Billy the Kid makes me want to play mandolin like him every time I hear it.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    Interesting "rest of the story" on Ry's short stint playing banjo w/BM. It seems the mandolin maestro told him "Son, you're not ready yet."

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    Default Re: Thoughts on Ry Cooder's New Recording - The Prodigal Son

    I haven't listened to his music in years, but I have great respect for the man, from a period of several years in my life when I was stealing slide guitar licks from everyone I could find. He's a master of that, and more.

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