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I just adore this great old video, which unfortunately seems to be available only in this low resolution VHS transfer (with frigging sub-titles!), featuring Harry Dean Stanton as the manager of a run-down cantina with no patrons, and none likely to show up, until the music starts pulling them in.

Ry Cooder is one of the greatest blues guitarists ever to play slide, and has been a legendary session man for years, playing for everybody who’s anybody at one point or another – Wikipedia lists Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Little Feat, Neil Young, Randy Newman, the Everly Brothers, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and even Eric Clapton – and that’s hardly exhaustive. I read somewhere that he was considered for a permanent slot in the Stones, after the tragic departure of Brian Jones, and one wonders how the trajectory of that outfit might have been different if that had worked out. The story goes that Cooder pissed off Keith Richards by noting that the guitar riff for Honkey Tonk Women had been ripped off from an old blues song (more than plausible), and that was that. You can get an idea of what the Stones sounded like with Ry doing his magic from Sister Morphine, a track off Sticky Fingers, to which Cooder lends his amazing slide work.

Get Rhythm was written by Johnny Cash, appearing first as the B Side to I Walk the Line, way back in 1956. Cooder’s version was released in 1988. It showcases his impeccable technique, and bounces along with enough energy to pull even the denizens of the moribund Club El Mundo Elegante out of their collective funk.

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