Bill Callahan – “Ry Cooder”

Hanly Brooks Callahan

Bill Callahan – “Ry Cooder”

Hanly Brooks Callahan

Next week, the much-loved indie lifer Bill Callahan will release his new album Gold Record. In the lead-up to the album’s release, Callahan has been doing something interesting. He’s released one song every Monday, thus ensuring that we will have heard the entire LP by the time it comes out. Today, we get a new Callahan track, the ninth of the 10 songs on the album. This latest is a funny one.

Callahan has followed up “Cowboy,” the song he released last week, with “Ry Cooder,” a sort of sly tribute to the roots music traveler and super-producer of the song’s title. “Ry Cooder” is a spare song, with Callahan intoning over just a couple of acoustic guitars. It seems to be a loving depiction of Cooder. (First line: “Ry Cooder, he’s a real straight shooter.”) But as with a whole lot of Bill Callahan tracks, it’s hard to tell just how sincere the song is — whether or not he’s making fun of Ry Cooder, or of Cooder’s place in the world.

Best line: “English rockers, all the money goes up their nose/ By Ry just smiles and tries another difficult yoga pose.” Or maybe: “Now imagine him laying a part down right here where the song grows thin/ Drawing all the listeners who tuned out right back in.” Listen below.

Gold Record is out 9/4 on Drag City.

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