Long before I knew the long-running history of the artist (and his many varied talents and interests) it was Wim Wenders meditative film Paris, TX that first turned me on to the playing of Ry Cooder. Cooder’s use of steel and slide on the film’s score is both transcendental and haunting…not unlike the film’s protagonist, Travis Henderson, portrayed by an always stellar Harry Dean Stanton. As Cooder’s career progressed he would venture from his roots dealving into plenty of soundtrack work — not to mention his noted interest (and role) in the revitalization of Cuba’s indigenous music community (see: Buena Vista Social Club).
Here, Rhino has compiled an excellent two-disc compilation, The UFO Has Landed, chronicling Cooder’s artistic trajectory spanning the beginning of his career in 1970, through this year’s I, Flathead which saw the culmination of Cooder’s “California Trilogy.”
Below: Check out the aforementioned track “Paris, TX” below (and the vid), and the opening track off Cooder’s 2005 ode to east Los Angeles Chavez Ravine, “Poor Man’s Sangri-La”
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