- 02 Oct 20
Multi-instrumentalist marries worldly instruments with old-time American folk.
If the name 'Cooder' sounds familiar, you're probably thinking about the legendary American singer-songwriter/composer Ry Cooder.
Over The Road I'm Bound is the second album from Ry's son, Joachim Cooder. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist at least as prolific as his old man, Cooder's sophomore offering uses the plain-spoken country songs of old time banjo player, songwriter and comedian Uncle Dave Macon as a starting point for this ambitious record.
But this is not a covers album. Cooder re-works melodies and lyrics, marrying classic American folk with worldly instruments like an electric mbira, upright bass, and mournful fiddles, to bring Macon's tunes into the 21st century. The mbira – an African thumb piano – yali tambur (a Turkish lute), and Cooder’s honeyed vocal tone on songs like ‘Backwater Blues’ and ‘Over That Road I’m Bound To Go’ bring a stunning warmth and modernity to otherwise dated and tired folk songs.
Cooder’s father features on the album, alongside Rayna Gellert (fiddle), Juliette Commagere (backing vocals), Sam Gendel (bass), Glenn Patscha (piano and pump organ), Amir Yaghmai (yali tambur), Dan Gellert (banjo and fiddle), and Vieux Farka Touré (guitar). Yes, that’s the son of legendary Malian musician Ali Farka Touré. Over The Road’s greatest achievement is that, by bringing in Farka Touré and traditional African instruments, it addresses American folk's deep, intrinsic roots in African music.
Out now on Nonesuch Records.