"This album provides an eclectic mix of tunes that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the brilliance of Ry Cooder and his accompanying musicians. As a huge fan of Cooder, I listen to this more than anything else he has done. To these ears, not one filler track here. Great fun.
The title song, Get Rhythm, written by Johnny Cash, is a hooky melody backing a rollicking dialogue between the narrator and a shoe shine boy. Synergistic mix of slide guitar and accordion.
Low--Commotion is a funky, upbeat instrumental, with a great mix of electric, acoustic, bass and slide guitar.
Okinawa, written by Cooder, seems a mix of Hawaiian music and rock and roll in a World War II veteran's ode to his bygone days on an island in the China Sea, site of a famous battle in that war. Cooder's guitar and Flaco Jimenez's accordion trade off lines of the melody.
On 13 Question Method, an obscure romance "how to" written by Chuck Berry, Ry does his best singing/guitar playing imitation of the master in a worthy tribute.
In Women Will Rule the World, Cooder as Mexican lounge singer gives a tongue-in-cheek warning to men that they will one day be subservient to the fairer sex. Jimenez's accordion shines here.
All Shook Up takes Elvis's classic and gives it a complete overhaul, turning up a totally different song with heavy emphasis on the rhythm section.
I Can Tell By the Way You Smell praises, in rhythm and blues, the clues to life's mysteries provided by the olfactory senses. Cooder has a sense of humor.
Across the Borderline is the masterpiece here. A mostly acoustic ballad from the point of view of a Mexican immigrant who finds that El Norte is not the golden land of opportunity it seemed from the other side. Cooder shares the poignant lead vocal with actor Harry Dean Stanton.
Let's Have a Ball is a sexually explicit pronouncement of lust that features Cooder's mastery on electric guitar. A wild romp, but not for the genteel.
Start to finish, this one shows that no matter the style of song, Ry Cooder's got rhythm. I never tire of it.
Terrific, But Completely Uncharacteristic For Ry
Michael Strom | Chicago, IL USA | 03/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ry Cooder was originally best known for his Delta blues & Dust Bowl balladry, later better known for his movie soundtracks & exploration of ethnic music from Cuba, Africa & India. This one is none of the above. It is the closest Ry came to straight-ahead blues-based rock & roll. There are a few resurrected obscurities to be sure, but this shows the side of Ry that is probably the closest to his years as a Rolling Stones sideman.Fans of Ry's more acoustic offerings should like this as well, so long as they are open to his electric, louder side. It sounds little like Boomer's Story or other early works, but the songs & performances are up to the quality from his classic era. Basically, much of this CD is rent-party stompers. The covers of Get Rhythm and All Shook Up are a hoot."
Ry Cooder at his unconventional best
allfiresthefire | 10/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To listen to this is not to get a feel of what Ry is mainly about. He would probably vouch for that. If however, you regarded this a a delve into the uncharted, then the result is an aural feast. The title track sets the mood for the rest of the album. Johnny Cash would be proud that this cover was done very well and in a style which is simply Ry. The outstanding track however is the 13 Question Method. Again, Ry gives a new lease of life to a mediocre song, this time by Chuck Berry. The characteristics and jokey slide technique which Ry employs is amazing. To appreciate slide really well, you need to listen to this album and particularly track 4."
"Every Japanese was danced with his Okinawa music. There is no doubt this is the one of the best of his. After this album,Ry cooder has released some great world wide music albums. Flaco Jimenez and Steve Douglas were playing together on the Japan tour. I was amazed!"
Cooder at his best.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 09/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ry pulls out all the stops on this one. Funky, sinister, and charming. His slide guitar and earthy vocals in tip top shape throughout this recording. Gotta put a BIG smile on your face!"