Sunday, February 03, 2008

CD Review - My Name is Buddy - another record by Ry Cooder

Samples from this CD are available here.

My Name is Buddy is a peculiar CD. It follows the adventures of a talking cat named Buddy Redcat, and his friends and companions on a journey through the America of the 30s, Lefty Mouse and the Reverend Tom Toad. (at this point, some of you will think I'm maybe having a little fun with you, but no, no, no....). It seems that Buddy carries around a suitcase that he sleeps in at night. Lefty is a union organizer, fighting for a better world. "Which side are you on, Buddy, which side are you on?". He also offers practical advise....mousetraps are right-handed; take your cheese from the left.

This CD effortlessly slides from musical style to musical style as the three characters travel through cities and towns, joining striking miners, singing union songs. The narrative holds it together just nicely. The songwriting is superb, and the players include Van Dyke Parks, Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger (yes, I said Pete Seeger), as well as Ry and Joaquim Cooder.

It isn't very often I come across a recording that I can't stop listening to, but this is one of those times. It is at once, goofy, sentimental, tough, hopeful. There is even a delightful tune about Buddy's good friend Hank Williams. It seems the only time Hank was really happy was when he was driving along in his caddilac with Buddy Redcat on the front seat beside him.


Anonymous said...

This sounds excellent! I shall go and visit Amazon immediately - thanks for recommending it.

zydeco fish said...

I have the two previous Ry Cooder CDs and like them very much. I didn't get this one, perhaps because it seemed over-priced to me. The reviews have been great though. I should make a trip to my local used CD place and have a look.