Ry Cooder Taking On Wall Street and Performing Live

New album Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down and rare live performances upcoming.

By , Contributor

Ry Cooder has announced the August 30 release of Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down. The six-time Grammy winner is a hired gun guitarist, album producer, songwriter and soundtrack composer, but he is best known for his production credits with the Buena Vista Social Club and the other groups surrounding the late-'90s Cuban music renaissance as well as landmark albums with Ali Farka Toure and the Chieftains. Cooder's own albums have been a mix of unconventional solo releases and soundtrack work.  

His three recent solo albums (referred to as the California Trilogy) covered such topics as the destruction of a neighborhood to build Dodger Stadium in 2005's Chavez Ravine, the adventures of a hobo cat (as in feline) on 2007's Call Me Buddy, and the fictional musician and Salt Flats racer Kash Buk in 2008's I, Flathead (which also included a 100-page hardcover novella). 

On Pull Up Some Dust, Cooder looks to the Wall Street bailout as inspiration. Cooder's page on the Nonesuch label (who releases his albums) offered the following teaser (in classic Cooder speak) for the new album: 

"There's you, the citizen, running in circles like a headless chicken. And there they are, there they all are, herding you faster and faster through the circle maze of lies and distraction. Who can you believe, who will throw out the life line?" 

"You need simple tools, and that's what these songs are all about. Learn how John Lee Hooker will fix the Supreme Court if elected. Learn a stirring new war-without-end Christmas sing along. Study the report on the new-time Jim Crow heaven bill #1070. What does the outlaw Jesse James have in mind for Goldman Sachs? Why does God hate television? And there's more..." 

You can go here to hear the song "No Banker Left Behind" from the new album. Cooder's usual studio cohorts will be joined by Los Cenzontles, which he also brought in for part of the Chieftains' San Patricio album.  

You can also go here to hear Cooder's take on the album in a radio interview with Truthdig Radio's Peter Scheer.  Cooder will also mark the album's release with rare live performances to be held at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall on August 31 and September 1. For these dates he'll joined by special guests Los Cenzontles.

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Tad Hendrickson has been a music journalist since 1996. A freelance writer based in Jersey City, New Jersey, he’s covered music of all genres as well as literature, the arts, food and real estate. His work has appeared in such publications as Elle, the London Financial Times, the Newark Star-Ledger,…

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