Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco Aug 31-Sept 1 2011

Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco Aug 31-Sept 1 2011

by Ry CooderRy Cooder


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Recorded with a full band over two nights in 2011, this Ry Cooder & Corridos Famosos concert offering marks the guitarist's first live recording under his own name since 1988. His band is, as one would expect, full of killer musicians, many of them old friends. The vocalists include Juliette Commagere, Terry Evans, and Arnold McCuller. Son Joachim holds down the drum chair while Robert Francis plays bass and Flaco Jiménez appears intermittently on accordion. In addition, Cooder recruited the ten-piece brass ensemble La Banda Juvenil from Mexico. The program consists of 12 tunes. While only two are originals -- live readings of tunes from Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down -- many of these selections are Cooder heritage favorites. The opener is a snarling, soul-blues read of "Crazy 'Bout an Automobile," with a mean slide solo and Arturo Gallardo's bass sax burping in tandem. It's followed by a fine, gospelized reading of "Why Dont You Try Me?" (from 1980's Borderline) that gets not only all three vocalists in on the action, but the entire horn section as well. The big surprises are the inclusion of "Boomer's Story" -- with excellent martial shuffling by Joachim -- and the "The Dark End of the Street," with Evans and McCuller in duet, and Jiménez's accordion adding a lonesome sweetness to the proceedings. Cooder's stage banter is in fine form as well, as evidenced by his introduction to the smoking "El Corrido de Jesse James." The other original, "Lord Tell Me Why," with Evans singing the ironic "racial" lyric, underscores its intentional absurdity. Cooder remains a master of traditional and cover material. There are two Woody Guthrie tunes here and both are radically reworked. "Do Re Mi" is a polka in which Pablo Molina's Sousaphone and Jiménez's accordion duel for dominance, and "Vigilante Man" is nasty, moaning, grimy blues driven by the slide guitar. Sam "The Sham" Samudio's "Wooly Bully" is given a full-on boogie treatment by the whole band, and there is a reprise of Gene Barge's "School Is Out," that first appeared on the live album Show Time in 1976. Commagere takes center stage on the Fernando Maldonado classic "Volver Volver," with Le Banda Juvenil in full mariachi mode. She delivers the tune with stirring, soulful commitment. The set closes with a loose, beautifully performed "Goodnight Irene," with Jiménez coloring in the edges with his deft squeeze box, and Cooder's guitar answering with one of his most tender solos on record. For those who've longed for the return of his immediate, loose, warm, live recordings, Live at the Great American Music Hall is where it's at.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/10/2013
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597959413
catalogNumber: 534585
Rank: 58169

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ry Cooder   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Robert Francis   Bass
Joachim Cooder   Drums
Terry Evans   Vocals
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
Arnold McCuller   Vocals
Pablo Molina   Sousaphone
Juliette Commagere   Vocals
Carlos "Carlitos" González   Trumpet
Arturo Gallardo   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Edgar Castro   Timbales,Snare Drums
Gilberto Carbajal   Trumpet
Everardo Rodriguez   Bass Drums
Alonso Chavez   Alto Horn
Abel Guerra   Trombone
Willie Jimenez   Clarinet
Julian Diaz   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Woody Guthrie   Composer
Ry Cooder   Composer,Producer,Art Direction
Gene Barge   Composer
Carson Robison   Composer
Dan Penn   Composer
Gary Anderson   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Chips Moman   Composer
Domingo "Sam" Samudio   Composer
Billy Young   Composer
Billy "The Kid" Emerson   Composer
Martin Pradler   Engineer
John Lomax   Composer
Jeff Smith   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Quattrocchi   Art Direction
Fernando Maldonado   Composer

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