Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch (1974)
01. Tamp ‘Em Up Solid
03. Married Man’s A Fool
04. Jesus On The Mainline
05. It’s All Over Now
06. Fool For A Cigarette/Feelin’ Good
07. If Walls Could Talk
08. Mexican Divorce
09. Ditty Wah Ditty
Ry Cooder – lead vocals, guitars, arranger
Milt Holland – drums, percussion
Jim Keltner – drums
Chris Etheridge – electric bass
Ronnie Barron – piano, organ
Red Callender, John Duke – bass
Plas Johnson – alto saxophone
Oscar Brashear – cornet
Bobby King, Gene Mumford, Bill Johnson, George McCurn, Walter Cook, Richard Jones, Karl Russell – backing vocals
Earl Hines – piano (09)
George Bohanon – horn arrangement
Nick DeCaro – string arrangement
Russ Titelman – electric guitar, backing vocals, producer
Producer: Lenny Waronker, Russ Titelman
Painting and Photography : Susan Titelman
Released in May of 1974, Paradise And Lunch showcases the diverse range of musical styles that distinguish Ry Cooder as one of the most versatileand eclectic artists in pop history. Vintage R&B selections mix with traditional blues, gospel and minstrel-era gems on an album that is both an homage to, and an innovative reworking of, American roots music.
Cooder’s formidable musical talents have long been recognized and utilized by artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart, Jackie DeShannon and Taj Mahal. A master of all things fretted, including mandolin, slide guitar, banjo, Mexican tiple, Middle Eastern saz and other exotic instruments, Cooder was a respected session player when he landed a solo recording contract in 1969. His self-titled debut album was released a year later.
The critically acclaimed Ry Cooder featured a tune stack of obscure and esoteric blues and folk material brought to life by Cooder’s syncopated slide guitar and distinctive vocals. It was followed, in 1972, by Into The Purple Valley, an album that vividly evoked the hard times of the ’30s with such Dust Bowl-era protest songs as “How Can You Keep On Moving”, “Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All” and Woody Guthrie’s haunting “Vigilante Man”. Boomer’s Story, released that same year, continued Cooder’s exploration of indigenous American music and highlighted some of his most accomplished and resonant instrumental work, most notably on the title cut and with a mesmerizing version of “Dark End of the Street”.
Produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman, Paradise And Lunch finds Cooder branching even farther afield for musical inspiration. The LP’s nine cuts comprise an evocative journey down some rarely traveled musical backwaters. The traditional gospel standard “Jesus On The Mainline” is given the thumping treatment of a street corner salvation band. “It’s All Over Now” captures Cooder’s unerring feel for R&B while the cuts “Married Man’s A Fool”, “If Walls Could Talk” and the early Burt Bacharach composition, “Mexican Divorce” together form a wry commentary on love, marriage and the difference between the two. Cooder’s rendering of the classic “Ditty Wah Ditty” remains the definitive version of the oft-covered tune.