It’s a Ry Cooder morning

Barn, yes another one
Barn. Yes, another one

Will I ever get tired of posting pictures of barns? Probably not. I’ve been taking pictures of them for at least thirty years.


I’m listening to Ry Cooder’s Paradise and Lunch album as I work on this post. I blame that on a Volkswagen commercial. You have probably seen it recently. The commercial evokes memories of the TV show Northern Exposure because it is set in Alaska and has a moose, or perhaps a large elk, standing in the middle of a street. But Northern Exposure isn’t the reason I put on Ry Cooder this morning. No, the commercial has a version of Dark End Of the Street playing in the background. When I hear that song I think of the covers done by Linda Ronstadt and – TA DA – Ry Cooder.

The cover of Dark End Of The Street in the commercial is performed by Cat Power. I Googled it to find out who the singer was. Cat Power. At first I thought that it was a band name (and it was originally), but it turns out to be the stage name of a singer who is also known as Chan Marshall. I’ll be listening to more of her music in the near future, just to see if I like anything else she has recorded.

Let’s get back to Ry Cooder. I had never heard of him until Steve Goodman mentioned him on the TV show Soundstage (see my post Day 321) when introducing the song Boomer’s Story. I loved that song, and later found out that Ry Cooder had recorded the song and used it as the title of one of his albums. I have to admit that when I bought the album I was disappointed in his version of Boomer’s Story but loved the rest of the album. I became a fan. I first heard his Dark End Of The Street (see I tied it back) on his album Show Time. That album is my favorite of all the Cooder albums that I own.

I once mentioned to a friend that I had read that Ry Cooder used to play in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. My friend looked at me quizzically and asked who Captain Beefheart was. Really? I don’t profess to be an expert on music from the 60’s and 70’s, thought I have a nodding acquaintance with it, but even I have heard (of) Captain Beefheart. I’m not a fan, but his existence is well documented.

Over the years I’ve bought 8 or 9 of Cooder’s albums, and Show Time remains my favorite. Why aren’t I listening to that album right now? I’m taking it to the car to listen to as I run errands later this morning. It is a great album for summer weather. And that’s why this is a Ry Cooder morning.

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