Ry Cooder
My Name is Buddy
(Nonesuch)
You never know what Cooder will do next. Here, he assumes the identity of a cat in Depression and post-war America. The amiable critter has hung with Hank Williams and striking miners, gone to jail with hobos, made friends with a mouse. It’s the sort of concept Pete Seeger might have hatched. The folk icon cameos; his son Mike plays. The marvelling will be at an imagination that makes this hootenanny possible. The knockout is “J.Edgar,” about a pig named for the FBI chief and the Hoover vacuum cleaner: “Nothing’s safe from you.” Complete with tune about a dodgy election, Cooder’s storytelling rings up today as surely as it fleshes out history.
Doug Taylor

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