41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2007
The problem I had with the last two Cooder-albums (Mambo Sinuendo and Chavez Ravine) was the fact I found them too elaborate; large ensembles, many instrumental ideas. This album is in line with the Ry Cooder I know (and love) from the early- to mid '70s! Most of the tracks have a blues-country-feel with hints of Tex Mex (Flaco Jimenez!)and Irish Folk (Paddy Moloney!). There are rockers (The Rolling Stones should be jealous of 'Three Chords and the Truth'!) and acoustic ballads. It's a concept-album about the travels and adventures of Buddy Red cat and his friends, complete with stories and illustrations...
This could be a very nice journey!
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2007
I honestly do not understand the first review of this album. Anyone who does not understand the allegorical nature of "My Name Is Buddy" must be the kind of persion who thinks George Orwell's classic tale of Stalinist Russia, Animal Farm, is a poor kind of children's story.
Cooder can fairly claim to be the living guardian of dust-bowl Americana. This is a finely crafted album which takes us back to Cooder's acoustic roots. There is an authentic feel to the tracks with some very fine playing in Cooder's instantly recognisable style - be it on guitar, bajo sexto or mandolin. On many tracks Cooder collaborates with Flaco Jiminez (acordian) and one of the best drummers around, in my humble opinion, Jim Keltner. For those who are impressed by such things, Peter and Mike Seeger add some lovely banjo flourishes.
This is a story, from start to finish. You need to listen to it carefully and read the beautifully presented notes in order to truly benefit from the experience but if you only dip in and out of it you will still admire the stylish, tasteful music. Incidentally, do NOT buy this album via iTunes - you really, really need the CD package to enjoy this experience to its full and when you hold it in your hands you'll understand why you need it.
I think Ry Cooder must be on a mission to give something back to his loyal fan base. Both this album and his previous, Chavez Ravine, appear to have been made for the pure joy of reliving history and telling a story. They have also come with extensive liner notes and beautiful packaging. And at a fair price. Kinda makes you wonder exactly why many popular CDs come with nothing and cost double, doesn't it?
My personal recommendation, if you have young children in particlar, is buy this album and read the story from the liner notes to them while they listen to the music. Although it is not a children's story, what child could not resist the imaginative use of animals as a way of making history accessible? Perhaps only an adult who thinks Animal Farm is for kids?
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2007
I have been a fan of Ry man and boy for the past 30 years or so. As a pure fan of Ry Cooder it is many a long year since we have our real Ry do his own album as opposed to reflecting or pursuing the cause of others, laudable though that is. This is welcome return to the genius that is Ry Cooder, comfortable in the era that is his, the dust bowl 1930's of the USA with brilliant songs, written by him which tell a fascinating story. The album comes with a book (no, not a booklet). This is a good read which is written from the point of view of a cat for each song, great reading as well as listening, you don't get this with an MP3 download!!
Most of his original usual stunning set of musicians assembled to accompany him on this journey. This is genuine great music in a time when it is in very short supply. Some not easy to grasp at first, but stick with it and be very entertained. Welcome back Ry. More of the same, good to have you back!!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2007
Ry Cooder in my world is as near to beyond critiscism as an artist can get.His last outing Chavez Ravine as the work of an artist was edgy and brilliant, but not particulary musical, and would put off any newcomers to his work.
This however is his old self teamed up with his old backing band and more importantly (in my opinion) Flaco Jimenez is old friend and terrific accordionist, it reminds of "Chicken Skin Music" and other Hank Williams inspired works.
It's like an old friend calling again after many years, thanks Ry and for god's sake do a British tour.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2007
A marvellous album.Sympathetic with the left and lyrically devoted.Musically mainly Woodyish but perfectly accomplished with most of the old team.Its energy is similar to 'Show Time'A great presentation with a book in the cover instead of the easily misplaced booklet.For me...perfect.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2007
honestly I bought this cd 'cos of the cover art work. I took a risk as I did years ago with Paul Simon's Graceland (what a lovely cover - what incredible music). I have now listened to My Name Is Buddy once and have utterly fallen in love with it. I knew nothing of Mr Cooder's music (Please can anyone tell me what I should listen to next) and I am so glad I took a risk on this honest, heartfelt and humorous music. It greatly reminds me of that Coen Brothers film Brother Where Art Thou, it's that kind of adorable deep south banjo thumpin' fiddle fiddling kinda fun. It's also about a red (ginger) cat and his friends so that gets my vote. I really believe that whatever kind music you enjoy there will be a space in your heart for Buddy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2008
After hearing/reading/listening to this album absolutely spellbound, I was left with tears in my eyes as the final song, "There's a bright side somewhere", was playing. The brilliant musicianship, the simplicity of the music, and the expression of hope in this whole album, touched me so deeply. And that's what I want from Ry Cooder: to hear him and enjoy the sound, but also to identify with him, and to be taken on his journey with him through each and every one of his recordings. I can always trust him to speak directly to me through his music. "My Name Is Buddy" is no exception. Thanks Ry Cooder for being true on your journey, and giving me a legacy of music that never dissappoints as long as my ears, mind and heart are open to receive.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2007
Even though he doesn't know me, Ry Cooder and I are great friends. We first met, bopping until we dropped, some years ago and we have been close ever since.
The thing that is great about Ry Cooder, and what makes him such a good fellow traveller, isn't his slide guitar playing, and it isn't the quality of thirty year old LPs. What makes Ry so good to know is that he takes you places. I know of no other artist who provides so much variety in what he does. If you include his various side projects over the years, a record collection that includes everything he has done would probably not need much more!
Travelling with Ry over the years has been an experience and, like travelling abroad, there have been sights and scenes that disappointed, but you wouldn't have wanted to have missed them.
So now we are on the latest episode of the Cooder journey and it doesn't disappoint. This is a great CD. The packaging is marvellous, the playing is entirely appropriate for the subject matter, and it makes such a wonderful change from 99.9% of all other albums. Ry Cooder doesn't have a great voice, but neither do Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, or John Prine, and they are far more dependent on singing than Cooder is.
So, if you're willing to go exploring, put your trust in Ry Cooder and take the plunge.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
This is another great CD by RY Cooder , all tracks are good with plenty of meaning some political others simply life , and bring back memories for us driving the roads and tunnels around lake Garda with Ry Cooder as company
38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2007
Imagine, if you will dear reader, a conversation in heaven. John Steinbeck is handing back to Woody Guthrie, a copy of "The Wind In The Willows" that the latter had lent him and, as they swill the ice around in their glasses of bourbon, then chink the glasses together and say, "cheers/bottoms up/whatever". As the sun sets (which also rises - sorry, literary joke) over the distant clouds, they agree that maybe a musical based on it would be a good idea. But they're not Brits, so an American take on the whole idea seems like a good idea at the time.
And indeed, it is.
A story that for many of us seems familiar (all you who have taken GCE/GCSE English Lit over the last 25 years may have found its themes familiar), Steinbeck and, indeed, Woody Guthrie were concerned with the (whisper it, socialist) view of America that has been criticised by so many opponents, needs telling again. Nowadays, how many will admit to having read "The Grapes of Wrath" or "In Dubious Battle" (go on, put your hand up if you've actually even heard of it, besides READ it)? But, here we have Cooder writing that very story steeped in that particular mythology.
Should you have grown up listening to Cooder's work in the mid-70s, then I'm sure you won't need to be told to go and listen to this - it's like a missing album from 1975. If you listen to it in the car (it's not a driving album) then it'll sound like those wonderful pre-"Bop" albums. If you try to listen to it at home, it's not quite what you were hoping for. Don't get me wrong, I love his work. But after "Bop" and "Borderline", wasn't "The Slide Area" a disappointment? This is a great return to form, and you'll find loads of echoes of Danville Girl, Rally 'Round the Flag and tons of others of your favourites; great guitar work and familiar tunes. You'll get fed up with the J Edgar Hoover song, but you'll love the electric slide and the humorous wry (pun intended) voice.
Yeah, go on, go out and get it. Enjoy. Let's hope he'll finally get out on the road again. The album may seem a bit silly to some of you, but the message is bang on the money. It's not a starting place for you youngsters, but it's better than waiting around for yet another film soundtrack - oh and one of the previous reviewers wanted to know what they should listen to next. If you want more of the same, try "Into The Purple Valley", "Paradise and Lunch" and "Boomer's Story". Then when you think you've got a handle on it, listen to "I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine" from "Bop 'Til You Drop". Try not to cry. Then wonder why the last time I went to see Cooder live, I was sitting next to Eric Clapton. Well, we all revere our masters.
So, I'll raise a glass of JD or Jim Beam, and chink it against John or Woody's glass and we'll all agree that Ry IS the man.