Ry Cooder- Chicken Skin Music
(Limited to 2,000, Numbered Hybrid SACD)
Give Yourself Goosebumps: Ry Cooder's Cross-CulturalChicken Skin MusicMixes Hawaiian, Gospel, Conjunto, Folk, and Blues Styles into a Visionary Roots Music Tapestry
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Strictly Limited to 2000 Numbered Copies: Natural-Sounding Hybrid SACD Features Defined Textures, Intricate Details, and Ample Airiness
The title ofRy Cooder'sChicken Skin Music– Hawaiian slang for goosebumps – serves as a direct, simple description of the album's emotional appeal. But it barely scratches the surface of a 1976 effort that triggered an interest in "world music" a decade before the term became commonplace and a genre into and of itself. Part of a series of inimitable mid-1970s records on whichCooderignored traditional boundaries and instigated lasting cross-cultural communication,Chicken Skin Musicblends gospel, Hawaiian, folk, blues, and Tex-Mex styles into a brilliant roots stew distinguished with virtuosic playing and inspired contextual surprises.
Mastered from the original master tapes and strictly limited to 2000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD ofChicken Skin Musicbrings the brilliant instrumental textures and lively tonalities to the fore like no prior digital edition. Graced with silent, black backgrounds and generous soundstages, this reissue particularly underscores the depth ofFlaco Jimenez's accordion contributions. You'll hear the air flowing through the reeds, pressure resonating from the bellows, and the wide-spanning timbres emanating from the register stops.
Equally transfixing are the lifelike manners in which the rich assortment of guitars come alive, with each note occupying its own space and portraying a character unique to the individual instrument, be it a slack-key, steel, or acoustic guitar.The result is a multi-detailed, organic-sounding musical tapestry that dazzles by way of beautiful interplay, unexpected dialogue, and connective eclecticism that proves music is indeed a common languagewhen executed with a collaborative mindset, innovative exploration, and respectful authenticity – no easy feats, but achievements fully on display onChicken Skin Music.
Jimenez, now a legend that's performed with everyone from theRolling StonestoDr. John, remains one of the keys toCooderbeing able to successfully carry out what the latter deemed a "mutuality in music" vision.Cooderfirst heard conjunto accordion fare on a Mexican radio station in his car and proceeded to teach himself the instrument while committing himself to embracing the then-local, regionalized style for the set that becameChicken Skin Music.Jimenezgraces three tracks, including a ravishing interpretation ofBen E. King's "Stand by Me" transformed into a spiritual grounded by a norteno structure and a romantic take onJim Reeves' "He'll Have to Go" recast with a bolero rhythm and saxophone-accordion duet.
Chicken Skin Musicisn't limited to South of the Border geography and tradition. Steel-guitarist and vocalistGabby Pahinuiand slack-key guitar greatAtta Isaacsrepresent the 50th state on stripped-down renditions ofHank Snow's smash "Yellow Roses" and the wordless "Chloe." Elsewhere, gospel singers team withCooderon the Appalachian-tinted "Always Lift Them Up," the midsection of which features the Hawaiian standard "Kanaka Wai Wai."
Cooderbookends everything with a pair ofLeadbellynumbers – "The Bourgeois Blues" and "Goodnight Irene" – chosen afterCooderwitnessedJimenezand his band perform at a local dance. Given their ordering on the album, techniques they employ, and themes, the songs also further tighten the thematic connection the headliner makes with the standout guests. In many ways,Chicken Skin Musicis the equivalent ofBuena Vista Social Clubmore than 20 years before the latter emerged. Experience it the wayCooderand company meant it to be heard – in unparalleled fidelity
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