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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

 

In "My Name is Buddy": Ry Cooder Rules!

Yo, cats and catted ones!

You may have thought from last week's scurrilous journalistic travesty about my "rehab" that I wouldn't be posting much more for a while. Well, you were wrong. Actually, I am at a wonderful resort, the Feline Association Recreation Center (FARC), and NOT as previously reported, the Factual Recovery Analysis Center (FRAC). (Human journalists are so easily duped by acronyms.)

Some of the greatest cats and catted ones frequent Feline Association Recreation Center. Already I've met the great bluesman, Ry Cooder, who is currently touring Europe. Cooder stopped by to play a set from his hot new album, My Name is Buddy, which has just been released on Nonesuch Records.

Cooder’s an oldtime hot bluesman. He's the guy who wrote soundtracks for movies like Paris, Texas, and got together the music for The Buena Vista Social Club. Just when you think this cat has been everywhere, done everything, well, I gotta tell you, in My Name is Buddy, Cooder goes where no bluesman has gone before. His hero, Buddy, is a Red Cat. Literally. (As a Redpoint Siamese, I feel a natural kinship.)

In between songs, Cooder explained that Buddy was inspired by a mysterious photo sent to him of a cat's head grafted onto Lead Belly's body. The album tells the story of a cat who travels and sees the world in the bygone era of miner’s strikes, big, bad bosses, and farm failures. Buddy, the Red Cat, is every working man. Cooder says "He's a red cat - not just red colored - but he's a union man. He becomes Red." Or as Buddy sings, "I'm a red cat til I die..."


Buddy stands up for other species too, not just downtrodden humans, but a mouse named Lefty and the Reverend Tom Toad. Now that's a program I can get behind. Make no mistake, Buddy's story may be set in the past, but it's really about stuff that's going on today. And if that's not enough, the album includes a booklet with Cooder’s backstories about Buddy, with illustrations by Victor Valdez.

You can get a taste of Cooder's style over at the I-Tunes Store, or wherever else you preview your music. Be sure to check out this tune: “One Cat, One Vote, One Beer.” Or this one: "There's a Bright Side Somewhere." Cause after all these years, Ry Cooder still hopes that maybe humans can dig themselves out of the hole they've made for themselves. And if Buddy Red Cat ain't our hero, who is?

Yours in felinity,

Darcy X

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