Veteran US roots musician and exponent of the slide guitar Ry Cooder has issued a new album in tune with the build up to the US presidential election.
Ry Cooder's fifteenth solo album is entitled 'Election Special', which, given that it is 2012, provides a clue as to the folk and blues inspired album's theme.
According to Uncut, the album contains a mix of social commentary and more direct protest songs, such as the opening track 'Mutt Romney Blues'. This track draws parallels between the Mitt Romney dog strapped to a car incident and the Republican hopeful's political ideals.
According to Pop Matters, the song is is told from the point of view of Mitt’s martyred dog Seamus:
“Boss Mitt Romney went for a ride
Pulled up on the highway side
Tied me down up on the roof
Boss I hollered woof woof woof”
Other songs cover the billionaire Koch brothers (“Brother Is Gone”), the possible change coming to the White House, (“Cold Cold Feeling”), the self-explantartoy “Guantanamo,” and economic devastation (“The 90 and the 9”).
Asked about his reasons for releasing such a directly political record, Cooder said "the time of decision in this country ... the most critical time in the history of the country".
In an interview in the LA Times he expanded further by saying: "I thought I should have a record that says, 'This here record is for you during election time.' Rather than be vague and poetic, let's just call this what it is. That way I may get people's attention. That's the idea."
In their review of the album, Rolling Stone said that it was "Protest Music Delivered with a Patriot's Gifts."
Ry Cooder is an American guitarist, singer and composer. 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.
Cooder has released a number of solo albums, film scores (including 'Paris Texas') and he produced the acclaimed 'Buena Vista Social Club' album (1997). Cooder has won four Grammy awards.
The track listing for the album is:
1. "Mutt Romney Blues"
2. "Brother Is Gone"
3. "The Wall Street Part of Town"
5. "Cold Cold Feelings"
6. "Going to Tampa"
8. "The 90 and the 9"
9. "Take Your Hands off It"
The album was released on August 21.