Tag Archives: Ry Cooder

Bob Dylan: 7 Woody Guthrie covers (audio & video)

bob dylan woody guthrie

Then later I got to Woody Guthrie, which opened up a whole new world at the time. I was still only 19 or 20. I was pretty fanatical about what I wanted to do, so after learning about 200 of Woody’s songs, I went to see him and I waited for the right moment to visit him in a hospital in Morristown, New Jersey.
~Bob Dylan (to Ron Rosenbaum, Nov 1977)

Today is Woody Guthrie’s Birthday. Here are seven songs of his which Bob Dylan covers.

Ramblin’ Round
Unidentified coffehouse
Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 1961

Ramblin’ around your city,
Ramblin’ around your town,
I never see a friend I know
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys,
As I go ramblin’ ’round.

Continue reading Bob Dylan: 7 Woody Guthrie covers (audio & video)

March 15: The Legend Lightnin Hopkins was born in 1912


Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982), better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, fromHouston, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Musicologist Robert “Mack” McCormick opined that Hopkins “is the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act”

I came to Lightnin’ Hopkins through Townes Van Zandt and Justin Townes Earle (I guess he discovered him through Townes as well…). I was expecting something ancient, something old, but Hopkins sounds modern and his guitar playing is just out of this world!

Sometimes music hit you so hard you simply do not know what happened, Justin Townes Earle did just that when he covered the relatively unknown song, hell, he  ripped through a rousing version of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ My starter won’t start (I been burnin bad gasoline). And suddenly I understood what/why Hopkins was held in as high a regard as he does! It was pure magic! (see own post)

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Baby Please Don’t go:

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Classic Concert: Ry Cooder & The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces in Santa Cruz CA 1987

coder 1

“Let’s Have A Ball”

Ry Cooder & The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces
Live At The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA March 25. 1987

“Let’s Have A Ball” is a 90-minute Ry Cooder concert film by Les Blank, better known for Burden of Dreams (1982), his chronicle of the trials of Werner Herzog and company during the making of Fitzcarraldo. He also made the fantastic, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins.

“Let’s Have A Ball” catches Ry Cooder and his band playing during their Get Rhythm tour. The film was screened in Europe and elsewhere but not in the US, and for now remains unavailable officially.

This is too bad, it is a great concert film, the sound quality and performances are tremendous.

The slow and heavy Down in Mississippi, the vocal virtuosos and Cooder’s guitar are out of this world!
The 16-minute version of Down In Hollywood where everyone, singers included, gets to show off their solo prowess.

Track Listing:
1. Let’s Have a Ball
2. Jesus on the Mainline
3. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
4. Jesus hits like the atombomb
5. Down In Mississippi
6. Maria Elena
7. Just a Little Bit
8. The Things That Make You Rich Make Me Poor
9. Crazy Bout an Automobile (Every Woman I Know)
10. Chain Gang
11. Down in Hollywood
12. Good Night Irene

Continue reading Classic Concert: Ry Cooder & The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces in Santa Cruz CA 1987

Skip James: Devil Got My Woman

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

skip james

I’d rather be the devil, to be that woman man
I’d rather be the devil, to be that woman man
Aw, nothin’ but the devil, changed my baby’s mind
Was nothin’ but the devil, changed my baby’s mind
~Skip James (Devil Got My Woman)

Coupling an oddball guitar tuning set against eerie, falsetto vocals, James’ early recordings could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
~Cub Koda (allmusic.com)

Skip James (June 9, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American Delta blues singer. He is regarded by most blues writers as a very important artist.

He is one of 3 blues artists to featured in Wim Wenders great documentary film The Soul of a Man (2003). 

Continue reading Skip James: Devil Got My Woman

Bass player Tim Drummond died today – Rest in Peace

bob dylan 1979
Tim Drummond with Dylan at Warfield in 1979


Bass player Tim Drummond died today –  Rest in Peace

Tim Drummond, born Timothy Lee Drummond, 20 April 1940, Bloomington, Illinois, USA was sadly reported dead today, January 11th. He played with a lot of great artists, Bob Dylan during “the Gospel Years”, Neil Young, Ry Cooder and James Browne among others. Drummond has co-written songs with many of the artists he has worked with, including: “Saved” (Bob Dylan), “Who’s Talking” (J.J. Cale), and “Down In Hollywood” (Ry Cooder). He often plays as part of the session rhythm duo Tim & Jim with drummer Jim Keltner.

Great musician, he will be missed.

Here are many videos from his fantastic performance with Bob Dylan in Toronto in 1980

“He joined Brown’s band, touring with great players such as Jimmy Nolen and Maceo Parker in North America, Vietnam, Korea and Africa, but eventually quit. Drummond then moved to Nashville, playing sessions for blues and R&B singers including Joe Simon, Margie Hendricks, Fenton Robinson, and country artists including Ronnie Mislap, Jimmy Buffett, Doug Kershaw and Charlie Daniels. A meeting with Neil Young resulted in Drummond playing on Young’s highly successful Harvest, and touring as part of his Straygators backing group. Drummond moved to California, where he has become an in-demand session player, working with a stellar list of artists including Young, Bob Dylan (Slow Train Coming, Saved, Shot Of Love), Ry Cooder (Bop Till You Drop, The Slide Area, Borderline), J.J. Cale (Naturally, Travel Log, Anyway The Wind Blows), Crosby, Stills And Nash (CSN), Graham Nash (Wild Tales), the Beach Boys (16 Big Ones), John Mayall, Rick Danko, Don Henley (Building The Perfect Beast) and Jewel (Pieces Of You).”

Neil Young – Long May You Run (with Tim Drummond, MTV Unplugged):

Continue reading Bass player Tim Drummond died today – Rest in Peace