Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt: A Meeting by the River

Track

A Meeting by the River

Artist

Ry Cooder (bottleneck guitar) and V.M. Bhatt (Mohan veena)

CD

A Meeting by the River (Water Lily Acoustics 29)

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Musicians:

Ry Cooder (bottleneck guitar), V.M. Bhatt (Mohan veena), Sukhvinder Singh Namadhari (tabla),

Joachim Cooder (dumbek)

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Composed by Ry Cooder and V.M. Bhatt

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Recorded: Santa Barbara, September 1992

Albumcoverrycoodervmbhattmeetingbytheriver

Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Ry Cooder has always had his own quirky concept of fusion. Back with Chicken Skin Music in 1976, he was mixing spicy Tex-Mex, Hawaiian and American roots flavors like some Paul Prudhomme of the music world. He later went on to embrace everything from 1950s R&B to the Buena Vista Social Club. But Cooder's 1993 CD A Meeting by the River reveals a different, if no less praiseworthy, side of his musical split personality. This recording represents an exemplary blending of Hindustani musical traditions with the soundscapes of the U.S. of A. Cooder's partner, V.M. Bhatt, may have studied sitar with Ravi Shankar, but here he plays an instrument of his own invention, the Mohan veena, a modified hollow-bodied guitar with 20 strings. The addition of tabla and dumbek (a goblet-shaped drum from North Africa) contribute to the multicultural flavor. This is a classic recording and one that still sounds fresh years later.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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