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All-American Music Man: Ry Cooder

Mick Brown, Sunday Times, May 1982

IT WAS THE MEXICANS that did it. The violent hue of his shirt notwithstanding, the tall, taciturn figure in the centre of the stage looked unremarkable enough. The black gospel singers to his left were, it is true, an unusual fixture in the setting of the Hammersmith Odeon. But it was the group of beaming Mexicans to the figure's right, a dapper, mustachio'd accordionist foremost among them, lending their weight to songs which stretched back to the Depression and beyond, and being rapturously received by the audience – it was this that put the hot pepper on the enchilada in conveying the charm, eccentricity and humour in Ry Cooder's music.

Total word count of piece: 1914

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