Jorge Barbarosa | the back 9 | 03/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ry broke into the digital technology early in the game, a pioneer. Interestingly, Ry was also one of the first out of the gate to digitalize his early releases, and we're fortunate for it. This release was pivital in 1972, and just as ground breaking in the CD format. Ry cataloged a variety of styles here, renditions of folk songs, delta, progressive blues... all with the originality and sparkle of Ry Cooder's slide guitar style. Profoundly original.
Cherry Ball Blues is my very favorite release, slide guitar, tablas, bass and a few more interesting bits and pieces put together in a tasteful acoustic fusion.
What really brings this release together is the bass playing of Tommy McClure. I really dig his style. Randy Newman is present, Sleepy John Estes (Ax sweet mama, President Kennedy), Jim Keltner on drums, a a few more. Really thoughtful and inspiring musicality. The liner notes don't really add much history behind the recording, but perhaps a quick search will bring together a bit of the studio log, and events associated with the "album."
This release and myself have a history. I bought it in 1972 on vinyl LP, scratched it all up, found another LP at a Flea Market then FINALLY, and thank you Ry, the digital version on CD came out. It won't disappoint.
Gimme some yes votes, if you will. Thanks!!
Great songs and some incredible guitar playing
Loppetear | 07/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Ry Cooder until I found out he did the soundtrack for the movie "Crossroads". I immediately bought this album and it's one of my favorites. I still get goose bumps when I listen to "Dark End of the Street" and "A Wing and a Prayer". Many of these songs were written in the pre-World War II era and I don't think the compositions were changed too much from the originals. With a bunch of great musicians though these songs give them a chance to play some incredible music."
Great album, but a botched reissue
Donald Leighty | Western Pennsylvania USA | 09/18/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The songs here are slightly "enhanced" - nice presence, rich bass, brighter high end - and might be an improvement over the old CD on some songs, but this reissue is fatally flawed. Both "Ax Sweet Mama" and "Maria Elena" are grotesquely slowed down, dropping a semitone or so and dragging lethargically. Also, several of the songs on side 2 have a good bit of crackle in the right channel. Stick with the regular CD. This is a mess."