Ah, Ry Cooder. In 1987. This is a fantastic record.
Yes, the album opener (and title track) is a cover of Johnny Cash, and here it’s a blues cajun dance party track. Fun! Keeping that feeling going is Low Commotion, which is a really sweet toe-tappin’ instrumental. Going Back To Okinawa is more cajun blues but with a clunky beat. That matches the clunky chorus lyrics – it doesn’t flow quite right but hey, points for trying.
13 Question Method is a Chuck Berry tune, here it’s an acoustic blues track with a swing feel. Raymond Quevado’s Women Will Rule The World has a cajun, almost Latin feel, and it’s tons of fun.
Next up is All Shook Up, with Larry Blackman on guest vocals. Good ol’ Elvis Presley and Otis Blackwell’s tune sees buzzsaw guitars and a totally funky blues, in this version. Wow!
I Can Tell By The Way You Smell (Walter Davis’s tune) is a messy, clunky Tom Waits-y blues. This was a riot. Across The Borderline (written by Jim Dickinson and John Hiatt, here with guest vocals from Harry Dean Stanton) is a gorgeous slow dance country tune. I loved this. And Let’s Have A Ball (by Alden Bunn) takes us out on another bluesy cajun-feeling tune.
I loved this record. This is straight up, damn good feel-good music. Lots of great tunes, special guests, and Van Dyke Parks on keys and one of my heroes, Jim Keltner, on drums. And I got all the way here without saying how awesome Cooder himself was throughout ths record, but that should go without saying, right? Right! Oh yes, I would listen to this record again anytime.