A strikingly powerful and evocative guitarist, Ry Cooder spun his unique talents into a remarkably successful and varied career. A student of blues icon Rev. Gary Davis, Cooder was a teenager when he formed the blues-rock band the Rising Sons with Taj Mahal. When the group broke up, Cooder became a session player, backing everyone from Captain Beefheart to Randy Newman, and was a contender to replace Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones. After releasing a number of acclaimed solo albums that embraced various forms of blues and regional music in the '70s and '80s, Cooder took up a lucrative sideline writing film scores, and in 1997 he helped bring forgotten masters of Cuba to the attention of the world as producer of the world music smash Buena Vista Social Club. ~ Mark Deming
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