ACROSS THE BORDERLINE -RY COODER’S JOURNEY INTO THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND
Presented By Andy Baylor & The Chicken Skin Orchestra
In the 1970’s and into the ‘80’s, L.A based virtuoso roots guitarist and in-demand session player, Ry Cooder, embarked on a series of albums which explored the roots of American music.This body of work introduced a whole generation to archaic blues, rousing gospel, forgotten 60’s soul ,traditional tex- mex sounds, 20’s ragtime, juke-box country and modern Hawaiian music . Ry mixed up styles like no-one had done before, re-casting older sounds into something else, something quirky, cool and modern, with a touch of the Californian avant -garde of the time. The albums, Ry Cooder , Boomers Story ,Into the Purple Valley, Paradise and Lunch and Chicken Skin Music took us on a magic ,swirling trip down the highways of American popular song and, in the words of Bob Dylan, made you feel like you were “ready to go anywhere”. In these vinyl grooves, balladeer Woody Guthrie and folk legend Leadbelly sat next to Tex Mex accordionist Flaco Jimenez and bluesman Sleepy John Estes. Bahaman guitar master, Joseph Spence’s stylings blended with an old work song from the Library of Congress and Hawaiian slack key and steel guitar combined with juke box country Rhythm n Blues hits were infused with a new kind of funk and Ry implored us to listen to it all.
Australian roots maestro, Andy Baylor, has had his own rich history of combining styles like no-one else. He has played blues, hillbilly country, western swing, Cajun and old jazz everywhere in Australia from the Opera House to the backyard barbeque. He has brought together the exotic, eclectic and thoroughly excellent all-star Chicken Skin Orchestra to present a special performance – “Boomer’s Story” -songs from Ry Cooder’s early period. The Chicken Skin Orchestra features a who’s-who of Melbourne’s roots musicians with Sam Lemann on guitar, mandola and ukulele, Suzannah Espie on vocals, Jack O’Dell on drums and vocals, Denis Close on world percussion, Steve Grant on accordion and Rick Plant on bass and vocals.