Chicken Skin Music

Chicken Skin Music

by Ry CooderRy Cooder


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Ry Cooder has always believed in the "mutuality in music," and this may be no more evident in his career than with his fifth album, Chicken Skin Music (a Hawaiian colloquialism, synonymous with goosebumps). Even more than usual, Cooder refuses to recognize borders -- geographical or musical -- presenting "Stand By Me" as a gospel song with a norteño arrangement, or giving the Jim Reeves country-pop classic, "He'll Have to Go," a bolero rhythm, featuring the interplay of Flaco Jimenez's accordion and Pat Rizzo's alto sax. Elsewhere, he teams with a pair of Hawaiian greats -- steel guitarist and singer Gabby Pahinui and slack key guitar master Atta Isaacs -- on the Hank Snow hit "Yellow Roses" and the beautiful instrumental "Chloe." If Cooder's approach to the music is stylistically diverse, his choice of material certainly follows suit. Bookended by a couple of Leadbelly compositions, Chicken Skin Music sports a collection of songs ranging from the aforementioned tracks to the charming old minstrel/medicine show number "I Got Mine" and the syncopated R&B of "Smack Dab in the Middle." Also included is Appalachian songwriter Blind Alfred Reed's "Always Lift Him Up," complete with a Hawaiian gospel tune, "Kanaka Wai Wai," woven into the instrumental section. As he explains in the album's liner notes, Cooder understands the connection between these seemingly disparate styles. This is not merely eclecticism for its own sake. Chicken Skin Music is probably Ry Cooder's most eccentric record since his first, but it's also one of his most entertaining.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0075992723121
catalogNumber: 2254
Rank: 39193

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ry Cooder   Primary Artist,Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Accordion,Vocals
Bobby King   Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Gabby Pahinui   Steel Guitar,Vocals
George Bohannon   Horn
Oscar Brashear   Cornet
Red Callender   Bass,Tuba
Chris Ethridge   Bass
Terry Evans   Vocals
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
Cliff Givens   Vocals
Hugo Gonzales   Banjo
Milt Holland   Percussion
Herman E. Johnson   Vocals
Henry Ojeda   Bass
Benny Powell   Trombone
Pat Rizzo   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Russ Titelman   Banjo,Bass,Vocals
Fred Jackson   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Atta Isaacs   Guitar

Technical Credits

George Bohannon   Arranger
Chet Himes   Engineer
Russ Titelman   Producer
John Ingle   Engineer

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