Ry Cooder

Renowned as being one of the world's greatest slide guitarists, Ry Cooder is famed for his subtly evocative movie soundtracks and has played a key role in bringing specialist music to wider audiences, most famously the hugely successful 'Buena Vista Social Club' project in 1997 which catapulted a proud selection of long-forgotten Cuban musicians to international fame. Cooder has always gone against the grain and when all his contemporaries were pursuing rock careers in the early 1960s, he sought inspiration from obscure blues artists. In his early days he played with Captain Beefheart and Taj Mahal, going on to work with The Rolling Stones on their 'Let It Bleed' and 'Sticky Fingers' albums and playing on Mick Jagger's solo single 'Memo from Turner'. Cooder's own career took off with albums 'Into the Purple Valley' (1972), 'Paradise & Lunch' (1974), 'Chicken Skin Music' (1976) and 'Bop Till You Drop' (1979) focusing on rarefied genres of music from blues and jazz to Tex-Mex, doo-wop and Hawaiian. Through the 1980s he was in high demand as a film soundtrack composer, notably penning the scores for 'Paris Texas', 'The Long Riders' and 'Primary Colors'. In the 1990s he explored Asian and African styles with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ali Farka Toure respectively before going to Cuba to produce and play on 'Buena Vista Social Club'. Cooder's sense of musical adventure continued in the 2000s and in 2010 he came up with another collaborative project, joining Irish band The Chieftains on the Celtic-Mexican concept album 'San Patricio'. He followed this up with 'Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down' addressing his views on the passing of the Arizona Senate Bill which created strict anti-illegal immigration laws in the state of Arizona. He spoke out in support of Barack Obama in his 2012 presidential campaign and released 'Election Special' as his way of supporting the Democratic Party. He toured with Ricky Skaggs in 2015 and released his 17th solo album in 2018 titled 'The Prodigal Son'.

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