Election Special

The master guitarist opens this vigorously partisan gem of gritty picking and black humor with a real country-funk howl: "Mutt Romney Blues," sung from the strapped-to-the-carroof view of the Romney family hound. But Election Special is protest music delivered with a patriot's gifts – the American-roots beauty and expert fire in Ry Cooder's playing – and long memory. His mocking, fearful take on current events in "The Wall Street Part of Town" and "The 90 and the 9" is eerily close to the suffering and inequity in the old blues and folk covers on Cooder's early LPs. The history repeating itself here shouldn't happen to a dog.

From The Archives Issue 1164: August 30, 2012