I'm buzzing. Absolutely buzzing, at the news that Ry Cooder will be releasing his first album in a while in early May, and even more so that he is visiting these shores for live dates for the first time in almost a decade together with son Joachim on drums. I'm even more a-buzz that I managed to get tickets for his London Cadogan Hall gig in October.
Cooder has been one of the most important musicians in my life, introducing me a whole host of exotic music forms from Tex-Mex to Hawaiian to Bahamian folk, via his dramatic film scores, via his love of the old blind blues masters, Woody Guthrie and Cuban jazz. Cooder has been the master, the teacher for many musicians as well as musicologists. As well as all the collaborations, there exists a whole treasure trove of work via his own albums, starting with the oddball, Van Dyke Parks-scored self titled debut in 1970 right through a superlative Warner Brothers catalogue and on to his later works, of which 'Prodigal Son' is the most recent. At 71, it seems that Cooder has really settled on the right studio technique and sound, judging by the interview in this month's Mojo - very fitting as clearly he has found his mojo again. Why else would someone who has been so cynical about touring go out on extensive US dates between now and late summer and then put in a European tour for autumn at the age of 71?
So far London, Amsterdam, Paris, Ostende, Glasgow and Dublin in Europe.. more to follow, I'd expect.