by Adam Levy
Ry Cooder’s name is nearly synonymous with slide
I’ve been digging Ry Cooder’s music for as long as I’ve been playing
Beyond his slide chops and stylistic breadth, however, the aspect of Cooder’s musicianship that I appreciate the most his rhythm
Though these video clips are all from the 1970s, Cooder has continued to make great music as a solo artist in more recent years. He has also shined brightly as a featured sideman—on John Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring the Family, for example—and as a world-music ambassador, recording with Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré (Talking Timbuktu), Indian guitarist V.M. Bhatt (A Meeting by the River), and an ensemble of great Cuban musicians (Buena Vista Social Club). In every context, his gifts as a rhythm player—an accompanist, I should say—equal or outshine his bottleneck mojo.
A longtime friend of the ‘Fire, Adam Levy has been unlocking the