Ry Cooder

Born 15 March 1947.
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Ry Cooder - the guitarist talks to Mike Harding

Mike talks to the Grammy Award-winning guitarist, songwriter and producer Ry Cooder.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician. He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and, more recently, his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

His solo work has been eclectic, encompassing folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock, and much else. He has collaborated with many musicians, notably including Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, David Lindley, and The Doobie Brothers. He briefly formed a band named Little Village.

Ry Cooder produced the Buena Vista Social Club album (1997), which became a worldwide hit. Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

He was ranked eighth on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". A 2010 ranking by Gibson placed him at number 32.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Election Special

    Election Special 2012

    Reviewed by Colin Irwin
    Cooder comes out fighting on this presidential election-themed collection.
  2. Review of Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down

    Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down 2011

    Reviewed by Andy Fyfe
    As good a riposte to the grubby, grabbing times we live in as any artist has mustered.
  3. Review of I, Flathead

    I, Flathead 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    All in all this is a fine end piece to his trilogy, while it also seems to signal a...
  4. Review of My Name Is Buddy

    My Name Is Buddy 2007

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    All in all, 'My Name Is Buddy' is easier to admire than actually enjoy.