Ry Cooder

The National Stadium, Dublin. Report: Gary Sexton.

The Buzz vol.2 no.21 (July 1995)

Being deprived of the opportunity of having my lugs bent by quality live music for a number of months, Ry Cooder at the Stadium was a welcome reprieve from my aural poverty. Cooder had previously titillated with the unique sound of his studio albums; his is a successful fusion of styles and cultures, marrying his own music with that of V.W. Bhatt and Ali Farka Toure, Gospel and Tex-Mex. It was, therefore, with great anticipation and much bating of breath that I awaited this gig.

A sense of foreboding prevailed as we took our seats. The puritanical environs of the Stadium demanded no drinking, smoking or dancing, and the muted volume of the opening numbers did nothing to help. However, Cooder and Co. weren't long dispelling our anxities, suitably aided by a dramatic improvement in the acoustics. Teaming up with Ry on this date were his son Joachim on percussion who on rare occasions used drumsticks but primarily employed his hands to great effect, and David Lindley on guitar and fiddle. The trio endeavoured to manipulate the intimacy of the venue, combining sassy, subtle and mellow music amidst an atmosphere of fireside warmth.

Dedicating Jesus On The Mainline to Paddy Moloney of The Chieftans fame, Cooder opted to trawl through his material from various soundtrack collaborations for the first half of the show. Lindley employed his fiddle supremely on The Long Riders pieces, and imaginatively fused Paris, Texas with Vigilante Man. There was no Get Rhythm or Little Sisters to be heard tonight, for which we will be eternally grateful.

With the crowd beginning to bay for more familiar material, however, Ry introduced David Lindley's daughter Roseanne, who proceeded to help out with the vocal duties and her voice of soul, strength and variation of a Gospel singer played an important part in upping the tempo slightly with Do You Want My Job from Ry's collaboration with Little Village. As the evening approached ethereal heights with Goodnight Irene, encores were demanded and given. The night culminated with The Very Thing That Makes You Rich Makes Me Poor, and we were left to mull over the delights of finding brilliant musicians in unexpected but excellent form.

Provided by List Member Scott Mackdanz