Ry Cooder – Ditty Wah Ditty (CD)

Ry Cooder was exploring bygone musical genres at the time - blues, country, folk, ragtime, Tex-Mex, RnB, RocknRoll et al - and found old-time recordings which he then personalised and updated. On his breakthrough album, released a few months before this gig, Into the Purple Valley, he chose unusual instrumentation and arrangements of blues, gospel, calypso, and country songs.

Ditty Wah Ditty (CD)

Ry Cooders love of the old time bluesmen such as Sleepy John Estes (best known for his composition Milk Cow Blues, also popularised by Presley) and Blind Willie Johnson is clear from the set list here, with three of Estes songs performed (including the otherwise unreleased Clean Up At Home) and two of Johnsons.

The cover of Blind Blakes Ditty Wah Ditty (or, as it was originally titled by Blake, Diddie Wah Diddie) should not be confused with Bo Diddleys Diddy Wah Diddy - they are different songs - although interestingly, the latter provided the A-side of Captain Beefheart & The Magic Bands first single; Ry Cooder joined as Magic Band arranger and guitarist shortly after the studio version was recorded and played the song live with the group on many occasions.

This solo acoustic recording from Ry Cooder, in a radio studio and without an audience, illustrates perfectly where this maverick musician and consummate performer was at in 1972. With the educational and informative introductions given by Ry before many of the numbers -for the benefit of those listening at home and radio station personnel equally - alongside some of the very finest guitar playing youre everlikely to hear, this CD is a near perfect artifact of this era of Ry Cooder's career.

1. Interview 01:15
2. Police Dog Blues 02:47
3. Ry Cooder Introduction 01:43
4. Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer 03:07
5. Song Intro 01:07
6. Great Dream From Heaven 02:21
7. Sleepy John Estes introduction 01:25
8. Clean Up At Home 03:18
9. Dedication to Radio Ranch Personnel 00:55
10. Tattler 05:51
11. You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond 03:07
12. Radio Announcement 00:58
13. F.D.R. In Trinidad 03:15
14. More Sleepy John Estes Stories 01:14
15. Floating Bridge 05:11
16. Billy The Kid 03:35
17. Ditty Wah Ditty 02:56
18. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground 04:49
19. Jesus Is On The Mainline 04:10
20. Going To Brownsville 04:44