April 4, 2012 – 10:46 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Cotati 1987 [no label, 2CD]

Live at The Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, CA; March 23, 1987. Excellent soundboard.

Even without releasing the covers album, Bop Till You Drop, in 1979, Ry Cooder was already  a formidable musician steeped in the blues with a Tex-Mex feel. His ’70s albums such as Into The Purple Valley, Boomer’s Story, Paradise And Lunch and Chicken Skin Music are classics but Bop Till You Drop, the first major-label digitally recorded album of pop music, put Cooder right in the spotlight.

Just as we are now pondering if the physical media (CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays) is coming to an end, at that time, the Bop Till You Drop CD - just as Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms - was used to showcase the format and CD players.

Alongside his solo albums, Cooder also worked on soundtracks such as The Long Riders, The Border and brought the slide to a new artistic level on Paris, Texas. This wasn’t the rollicking slide of the Allman Brothers at Fillmore East but slide which put an achingly haunting spell on the listener. Then, A Meeting By The River with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in 1993 and, more importantly, Buena Vista Social Club in 1997, saw Cooder being hailed as a music archivist. While Cooder turned to his staples of bluesy and rock & roll tunes when he played live, it’d be interesting to see him tour with his soundtracks once in while.

Thanks to easyed for sharing a show (and artwork) on Dime which took place before World Music discovered Ry Cooder.

easyed noted:

A few days later, this same lineup performed at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA, a performance which was filmed for commercial release by Les Blank. Rumor has it that Ry didn’t like the film [Let’s Have A Ball], and it was never released, although I have seen it in circulation.

The autographs on the CD art are real. Ry autographed a couple of compact discs for me outside the Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA in 1987 and on one of them conveniently added the year! He had his son, at the time maybe 14 years old, with him, who asked about the compact discs, “Dad, what are those?” to which Ry replied something along the lines of “Those are compact discs, son. They’ll be obsolete in a couple years.”

The venue for this show was The Cotati Cabaret in Cotati, CA. It was a small club that held about 300 people. Cotati is a small town located about an hour north of San Francisco. The Cabaret was an outgrowth of another venue that had been across the street called The Inn of The Beginning, a resurrected version of which has since ‘risen from the ashes’ once or twice since the ’80s. Cotati is next to Sonoma State University, which was called Granola State University back in the days. SSU is where the great recording of Old & In The Way with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott opening was made in 1973.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

soundboard > analog cassette master > ? > DAT > cdr
except Disc 2 Tracks 4-7 from audience analog cassette master

Disc 1
Track 101. Showtime (3.5MB)
Track 102. Little Sister (6.0MB)
Track 103. Smack Dab In The Middle (fades in) (1.8MB)
Track 104. I Wanna Ball Let’s Have A Ball (10.8MB)
Track 105. Go On Home Girl (12.2MB)
Track 106. Ay Te Dejo Déjo En San Antonio (7.4MB)
Track 107. He’ll Have To Go (10.0MB)
Track 108. Jesus On The Mainline (13.0MB)
Track 109. Dark End Of The Street (11.0MB)
Track 110. When He Comes (4.1MB)
Track 111. Teeny Weeny Bit I Don’t Want Much (11.9MB)
Track 112. One Meatball (11.8MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Maria Elena (9.6MB)
Track 202. If Walls Could Talk (15.8MB)
Track 203. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich Makes Me Poor (12.9MB)
Track 204. Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile (11.0MB)
Track 205. Chain Gang (10.8MB)
Track 206. Down In Hollywood (22.2MB)
Track 207. Good Night Irene (11.1MB)

Ry Cooder - guitar and vocals
Bobby King - vocals (baritone)
Flaco Jimenez - accordian
Terry Evans - vocals (tenor)
Van Dyke Parks - keyboards
Arnold McCuller - vocals (tenor)
Jorge Calderon - bass guitar
Willie Greene Jr. - vocals (bass)
Jim Keltner - drums
Steve Douglas - saxophone
Miguel Cruz - percussion
George Bohannon - trombone

In August 2011, Ry Cooder released his 14th studio album, Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down. Click here to order the album.

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  1. 17 Responses to “RY COODER - COTATI 1987”

  2. Absolutly wonderful. Thanks Big O.

    By grumgjv on Apr 4, 2012

  3. Great post, BigO! I met Bobby King in Syracuse in Nov 1992, very nice guy with a fabulous voice…

    By TDC on Apr 4, 2012

  4. Wow! What a treasure. Saw Ry with close to this band playing about the same size joint in Portland, Oregon. Will never forget how the biggest black vocalist sang the high sweet notes, and the thin tiny guy had the baritone….Many thanks BigO!

    By strickles on Apr 5, 2012

  5. Fantastic! This era of Ry with this band is the best. Must have cost him a fortune to keep this level of talent on the road playing 300 seaters.

    By ReV RuSSeLL on Apr 5, 2012

  6. only thing missing is “Get Rhythm”..not much for videos but I LOVED that one…

    By sluggo on Apr 5, 2012

  7. I just got home and found this and boy, can I use a shot of Ry. (Did I use that pun on the Little Village post too?)I also just learned that Ry Cooder wrote a book last year called Los Angeles Stories and I ordered it from the library.

    …only thing missing is “Trouble, You Can’t Fool Me”… I’ll have to check out that video Sluggo.
    Does BigO have any Texas Tornados? (Flaco)

    By sking on Apr 5, 2012

  8. One correction: the title of track 106 contains no accents. It’s just “Dejo”, not “Déjo”, which would be phonetically redundant.

    By Motorvilleboy on Apr 5, 2012

  9. Hello Motorvilleboy

    Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Apr 5, 2012

  10. sking - i dont know if u can record off the computer like i can but there are times when if the option to download isnt there it makes life amazing. this item (http://www.myspace.com/variousartists-45952132/music/albums/texans-live-from-mountain-stage-10570903) is a keeper. just thought u might like it.
    i also thought ud like — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hcha5IvXbc
    making mp3s of these is easy. its only 39mins.
    i did it to a 200min who concert a year or two ago.
    theres another bit at —
    for 20mins more.
    maybe u should just look at this guys entire collection at -
    its kinda hard to make rhyme or reason with his postings cuz he doesnt really make it easy. ok? i did what i could for ya. good luck.

    By darth on Apr 5, 2012

  11. Great! With the legendary Steve Douglas! thanks guys!

    By tony lauber on Apr 5, 2012

  12. Thanks! This one sounds great.

    By Tom on Apr 6, 2012

  13. Thanks,BigO-Ry Cooder…love everything he does.Can’t help but smile when I listen to this!

    By GeoffP on Apr 7, 2012

  14. Thanks for this, but I would like to help with some of the song titles if you don’t mind. What you are calling “I Wanna Ball” is actually titled “Let’s Have A Ball”. Ry got it from an old Ray Charles record. Instead of “Go Home Girl” should be “Go On Home Girl” (minor i suppose), and instead of “Teeny Weeny Bit” that song is called “I Don’t Want Much”. Great show. My friend Mark hipped me to your posting of this. Mark and I saw Ry twice within days of this Catalyst show, first at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, then at Laguna Seca where Ry opened for the Dead. Thanks again!

    By Dan on Apr 8, 2012

  15. Hello Dan

    Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Apr 9, 2012

  16. this was ry cooders appearance on conan last thursday -

    By darth on Mar 5, 2014

  17. Just noticed but to correct Dan’s notes here he is wrong on a couple of notes there
    It is ‘Go Home Girl’ an Arthur Alexander single from ‘62/’63 and has been in Ry’s repertoire as such for an age and Bobby King and Terry Evans have been doing ‘Just a Little Bit’ from Chicken Skin Music time onwards and include it on one of my favourite albums of all time ‘Live & Let Live’ and it has never been known as ‘I don’t want much’ both confusing what is sung for song titles but hey! He is right of course about Alden Bunn’s fine fine song ‘ Let’s Have A Ball’ which became the title of the film of Ry with the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces

    There you go! Just for fun and info
    . . .

    By swappers on Mar 5, 2014

  18. Saw Ry a couple nights ago with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White. Sharon’s father Buck was the unsung hero of the show, a killer pianist with killer chops, even in his mid-80’s. Ry, of course, was great.

    By rick on Nov 19, 2015

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