Up My Sleeve: Paradise and Lunch

Well I’m back after taking a week off. Tonight I bring you an album from the amazing Mr. Ry Cooder. A phenomenal guitar player, Cooder has played on myriad tracks for countless legendary artists. He is, however, an extraordinary artist in his own right. “Paradise and Lunch” is a perfect example of what Cooder does best, which is fuse American roots music with jazz and other world music influences. He infuses blues with Caribbean rhythms and gospel backing vocals, truly exciting and entertaining stuff. Plus, who wouldn’t like a song called “Fool For a Cigarette”? Here’s what this album is: take 2 parts Lowell George from Little Feat, 1 part James Taylor, 1 part Taj Mahal and shake vigorously. Pour over ice and serve with dirty rice. Yeah that rhymed…. whatever. Anyway, I’m psyched to have this one on my shelf. I suggest you give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. Go for “Tamp ‘em up solid” first, followed by “Fool For a Cigarette”. This thing stays consistently interesting front to back so I’ll leave it to you to explore. I’m not trying to be a critic in the traditional sense. I like what I like and there is often no logical criterion for what I consider for recommendation. Many of my picks may not be appealing to all, but hopefully I can expose some to music that they may not have encountered otherwise. See ya next week.


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