Who was/is Ry Cooder ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more


Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All

(traditional-Arr. Ry Cooder)

recorded 1971 at Warner Bros. Amigo Studio, 11114 Cumpston Avenue, North Hollywood, California; produced by Jim Dickinson and Lenny Waronker

with Ry Cooder: vocal, guitar; Van Dyke Parks: piano; Jim Dickinson: harmonium; Chris Ethridge: bass; Jim Keltner: drums

Reprise MS 2052 (LP)


Like Linda Ronstadt and later Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder was a song collector. In fact, not just songs, but styles. On his first LP, Cooder revived an ancient anti-establishment hillbilly tune, How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? On his second, he reinterpreted a late nineteenth century populist broadside, The Farmer Feeds Us All. Fiddlin' John Carson and Pete Seeger had recorded it, as had several others, but it was probably written by Knowles Shaw, a mid-western singing evangelist best known for Bringing In The Sheaves. It appeared in a folio dated 1874, so it was at least that old, but an exhaustive biography of Shaw dating to 1879 fails to mention the song. Carl Sandburg's epic American Songbag and B.A. Botkin's Treasury of American Folklore featured it. The latter version was doctored up by Pete Seeger's father and came closest to the lyrics that Cooder employed. These days, when country music's political agenda is somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, it's worth remembering the music's populist, anti-capital roots.


Cooder's association with the Rolling Stones, Randy Newman, Captain Beefheart and others had made him into an underground legend. Those of us who analyzed and internalized LP credits knew that he had authored many of the slide guitar solos we treasured, not least the one preceding this track. Taxes On The Farmer came from his second album, 'Into The Purple Valley.' It seemed as if Cooder, more than anyone else, truly understood the American credo E Pluribus Unum. Let's flip through some of the songs on the LP: FDR In Trinidad (Attila the Hun, calypso), Denomination Blues (Washington Phillips, black gospel), Teardrops Will Fall (Dickey Doo & the Donts, white doo wop), Money Honey (Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters, black doo wop), On A Monday (Leadbelly, pre-blues), Great Dreams From Heaven (Joseph Spence, Bahamanian gospel), Vigilante Man (Woody Guthrie, folk), etc. In this age of infinite availability, it's too easy to dismiss the intellectual curiosity and perseverance that led Cooder to this mix. The LP was recorded at Snuff Garrett's former studio, Amigo, and the cover art featured Cooder and his wife, Susie.


Various - Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Vol.04, The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock 1971 (2-CD)

Read more at:
Copyright © Bear Family Records

More information about Ry Cooder on
Ry Cooder: Acoustic Performance Radio Ranch (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDECHO2006

Item in stock

(2014/Echoes) 20 Tracks, incl. radio announcements - Historic 1972 radio performance!

$17.49 *

Ry Cooder: Acoustic Performance Radio Ranch 12-12-1972 (2-LP, 180g Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: LPECHO2006

Item in stock

(2015/Echoes) 20 Tracks, incl. radio announcements - Historic 1972 radio performance!

$31.53 *

Ry Cooder: Paris, Texas - Soundtrack (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Art-Nr.: LPRGM0538C

Item in stock

(Real Gone Music) 10 tracks Seldom has any artist captured that ineffable 'high, lonesome sound' quite as beautifully as Ry Cooder did on his landmark soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ film Paris, Texas. Not quite blues, not quite bluegrass, not quite ambient,...

$35.04 *

Ry Cooder: Election Special
Art-Nr.: CD531159

Item in stock

(2012/PERRO VERDE) 9 tracks - ecopac

Instead of:$19.83 * $11.64 *

Ry Cooder: Paris, Texas - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD25270

Item in stock

​(1988/Warner Bros.) 10 Tracks - Original CD version of the 1985 vinyl soundtrack album!

$11.64 *

Ry Cooder: Bop Till You Drop (LP, 180g Vinyl)
Art-Nr.: LPRN79666

Item in stock

(2013/Rhino) 9 tracks , originally first released 1979 on 'Warner'.

$26.85 *

Ryan Cain & The Chaotics: The Border - Alamo Bay - The Soundtracks
Art-Nr.: CDRV209

Currently not available

(2006/RAVEN) 22 tracks (68:51) 1982/1985 with 12 page booklet.

$26.85 *

Ry Cooder: Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down (2011)
Art-Nr.: CD527407

Currently not available

(2011/SIRE) 14 tracks (61:24) digipac with 20 page booklet incl. all lyrics. Outstanding Americana Songbook feat. Flaco Jimenez a.o.!*****

Instead of:$20.77 * $11.64 *