All Access AACD0123
A historic live release from the king of the slide guitar
Broadcast live by KSAN from The Record Plant, Sausalito, California on July 7,1974, this concert has been heavily bootlegged in the past but All Access has now put things on an ‘official’ footing. By the time of this show, Ry Cooder was already established and well known for his ability to weld almost all North American musical styles from rock & roll, blues, reggae, jazz, country, Tex-Mex, R&B and gospel to vaudeville. At around this time Cooder had released his fourth album PARADISE & LUNCH and three numbers from the album are included here: Tamp ‘Em Up Solid, a story of railway trackmen. If Walls Could Talk, a great country song, and his own composition Tattler.
Inevitably there are a couple of political commentaries; a reggae flavoured F.D.R. in Trinidad and Cornin’in on a Wing and a Prayer which he dedicated to then-President Richard Nixon ‘for his mishandling of the Vietnam War’. Within weeks, Nixon had resigned! Highlights for me were How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live, country/blues at its best; and a great rendition of Teardrops Will Fall. This is essentially a solo performance, but RPC is joined by a host of others, although there is some confusion exactly who. The liner notes list Jim Dickinson (bass) and Jim Keltner (drums), both long time associates of Ry Cooder. Bobby King, Gene Mumford and Cliff Givens take lead on the finale for the gospel classic I’m a Pilgrim and it’s pretty clearthey contribute backing vocals on several tracks. Cooder historians also list Russ Titelman on bass and Milt Holland on drums. Notwithstanding that, this is a great listen. John Roffey