Ry Cooder - Chicken Skin Music

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This 1976 effort contains some of Cooder's most compelling work and finds him re-exploring some of the fundamental influences on a musician known for remarkable eclecticism. Most notable are "Always Lift Him Up", "Smack Dab in the Middle", and a beautiful adaptation of "Stand By Me" (which includes Flaco Jimenez on accordion.) The album opens and closes with covers of Leadbelly, namely "The Bourgeois Blues" and (you guessed it) "Goodnight Irene". Also notable is a fine reworking of the traditional number "I Got Mine".