Broadcast from the Plant
Cooder was promoting his third solo album, Paradise & Lunch, which most critics still regard as his best LP to date. Personable, humorous, and unquestionably talented, this intimate performance by Cooder is a long lost gem in his lengthy and well-celebrated career. He performs a wide spectrum of material that includes covers and originals from his then-current and previous Warner Brother's albums. Whether it's a Depression-era styled blues classic, such as "Police Dog Blues," or Little Miton's "If Walls Could Talk," Cooder is a master at the craft of blending smooth vocals and tasteful guitar licks around a compelling storyline song. If you don't love the characters he sings about, you are bound to love his true musicianship, which has graced hundreds of recordings by the diparate likes of James Taylor and The Rolling Stones. Beginning his professional career in 1963 in a little-known blues band that included pop vocalist Jackie DeShannon, Ry Cooder has become a mainstay in the California studio scene, as well as developed into one of brightest stars on the "Americana" radio format. After trying and failing to gain fame and fortune in a band called Rising Sons in 1965 (with band-mates Taj Mahal and Ed Cassidy, who later formed Spirit), he was brought in to do session work for artists as diverse as Captain Beefheart, Randy Newman, Little Feat, Van Dyke Parks, Gordon Lightfoot and numerous others. He contributed a mandolin track on the Stones' classics Let It Bleed and was also prominently featured on Sticky Fingers, where he contributed his trademark slide guitar. Cooder continues to record, tour and compose movie soundtracks. Among the highlights from this Record Plant session are "Police Dog Blues," "F.D.R. in Trinidad," "If Walls Could Talk," "Billy The Kid," and "Comin' In On a Wing and a Prayer," which he dedicated to then-President Nixon for his mishandling of the Vietnam War.