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Ry Cooder To Release 'The Prodigal Son,' First New Album In Six Years
Guitarist/songwriter Ry Cooder's long and varied career stretches back to his first band, Rising Sons, which he joined at age 16. Countless signature sessions, shows, collaborations, tours, and guitar licks later, he's come full circle, announcing his first new album since 2012's Election Special. Ahead of the release, Cooder has dropped the album's first single, "Shrinking Man."
The 11-song track list for The Prodigal Son, due out May 11, is a mixture of original material (including "Shrinking Man") and new interpretations of songs by Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Roosevelt Graves, the Stanley Brothers, and other. Cooder describes this new project as, "a deft commentary on our ailing moral state," saying in a statement, "I do connect the political/economic dimensions with the inner life of people, since people are at risk and oppressed on all sides in our world today.”
Known for his staggering mastery of his instrument, especially on slide guitar, Cooder has graced recordings by The Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Little Feat, Taj Mahal, Randy Newman, and many more, in addition to his own prolific output of solo recordings since his 1970 self-titled debut. Along the way, Cooder has racked up 14 career GRAMMY nominations and six wins spanning such varied categories as Best World Music Album, Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, Best Pop Instrumental Album, and Best Recording For Children.
Cooder's return comes complete with the announcement of his first North American tour in nine years, kicking off June 3 in Alexandria, Va. and running through July 21 where it wraps up in Napa, Calif. A full list of dates and ticket info can be found on Cooder's website.