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Chicken Skin Music

Ry CooderAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $10.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1976 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1990 $10.89  
Vinyl, 1976 --  
Audio Cassette, 1988 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Borgeois Blues 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Got Mine 4:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Always Lift Him Up/Kanaka Wai Wai 6:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. He'll Have To Go 5:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Smack Dab In The Middle 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Stand By Me 3:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Yellow Roses 6:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Chloe 3:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Goodnight Irene 4:32$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Image of album by Ry Cooder


Image of Ry Cooder


Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder ... Read more in Amazon's Ry Cooder Store

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Chicken Skin Music + Paradise & Lunch + Into the Purple Valley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KCO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,584 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 1976 effort contains some of Cooder's most compelling work and finds him reexploring 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." --Wayne Pernu

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before Buena Vista, there was Chicken Skin November 12, 2001
By J. Book
Format:Audio CD
For the uninformed, "chicken skin" is the Hawaiian equivalent of "goose bumps". In other words, this is the kind of music that is meant to send chills down your spine, whether it's the blues, folk, tejano, or Hawaiian music. This album, for me, is highlighted by Gabby Pahinui. Cooder played on a number of Pahinui's albums, and Pops felt it was important to return the favor. Anyone who enjoys the guitar, especially ki ho'alu (slack key) will enjoy hearing Gabby play along with Ry Cooder. But despite the title, it's not an all-Hawaiian album. Celebrate it for its diversity, and come out of it with chicken skin. Auwe!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooder's Vision of American Roots Music January 25, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Ry Cooder is one of my all-time favorite artists. [One of my first reviews back in 1999 was for Cooder's classic PARADISE AND LUNCH.] And CHICKEN SKIN MUSIC is right there at the top of my list of favoirte Cooder albums. While he's spent the better part of the last two decades doing soundtrack work, this album displays his encylopedic knowledge of musical styles. He's also a gifted mulit-instrumentalist (bajo sexto, mandola, mandolin, even accordion, in addition to being a superb guitarist. Also, Cooder relies on a wealth of talented session musicians, including Jim Keltner, drums; Flaco Jimenez, accordion; and Chris Ethridge, bass.
The album opens and closes with a couple classic Leadbelly songs, "The Bourgeois Blues" and "Good Night Irene." In between he covers gospel ("I Got Mine"), Tex-Mex ("He'll Have to Go," "Stand By Me"), Hawaiian ("Yellow Roses, "Chloe"--both actually recorded in Hawaii, with native musicians Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs), and all of it filtered though Cooder's vision of what constitutes the roots of American music.
In his liner notes, Cooder states, "For me, this album reaches a level of real understanding and mutuality in music." It is one of Cooder's most satisfying albums. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goose Bumps, Chicken Skin, Whatever... May 12, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is a CD that no one can afford to miss (IMHO). The fun they had recording it, the expert musicianship, the 'belly piano' playing by Flaco Jimenez, the singing, the songs... It's just a great CD and I love it. Stand By Me gets done here in a way that makes it worth every dollar - not a dry eye in the house. But there's more. I knew the song Goodnight Irene from The Inkspots (waaaaaaay back when), but this version is the best I have ever heard. Brilliant album, earning every star I give, giving me chicken skin every time I play it. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best attract the best October 12, 1999
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The best musicians attract the best musicians (and the best film people attract ...). In this Cooder CD listen to the accordion of Flaco Jimenez, particularly on Goodnight Irene and He'll Have to Go. This is not genius?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars slack key playing will leave you slack jawed November 23, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ry Cooder should get some kind of U.N. award for 'world music' just for his efforts to record with treasured 'world' musicians over the years. This session includes Flaco Jiminez cutting up on the conertina and Gabby Pahinui (who's since passed) playing Hawaiian slack key guitar. don't know what slack key sounds like? Pilgrim, here's your chance to get hep, it's not too late. Great backup vocals, and guitarplaying that would the angels weep. Great album.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Nathan
Format:Audio CD
Man, I'm'a say it again: this is ROOTS music. This is folksy-bluesy-inspirational-Gospelesque music. An' it's still good for drankin' some beers on a warm n' windy Saturday afternoon after puttin' in yet another weeks worth of hard labor. I discovered this by accident, y'all. I accidentally listened to it from front 'ta back an' I accidentally loved it.

This was the first piece'a music I'd ever heard by Ry Cooder that wasn't 'Buena Vista Social Club' or the 'Crossroads' soundtrack, an' I'm lovin' it, lovin' it, LOVIN' IT. That slide guitar an' that Southern bluesman's voice coupled with great back-up from Gabby Pahinui, Flaco Jimenez, an' company, all of whose names I didn't know when I first bought this CD, but that I will now remember forever. Stuff like 'The Bourgeois Blues' is reminiscent of a time when musicians weren't "celebrities" to be in awe of, but regular people spinning tales of life, love an' loss on front porches with acoustic guitars. 'I Got Mine' is the rebel workin' man's Gospel, an' the melancholy 'Yellow Roses' burns my eyes an' heart every time I hear it, an' makes me yearn for the simple things in life. That ol' cawntry-fried number 'Goodnight Irene' is done to perfection here; stripped down to the core an' with an accordian sangin' along with Cooder's voice that seems wrought with a life's worth of hard livin'. But my favorite is definitely 'Always Lift Him Up', this number is sumpin' special, fa'real; one fa' the church an' the TRUE gentile heart.

Like I said before, this really is "roots music" in every sense of the word. An' I don't care who's singin', white or black. I have no prejudices here as long as those sangin' it an' makin' it understand it. An' I think Cooder definitely understands it better than most.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polaroid December 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD
A very nice effort from one of the most respected guitar players around. I'd say this resembles hawaiian folk music with strong US blues/rock influences, allthough the voice and guitar-playing of Ry Cooder and his companions really takes it all to another level. There's nothing new, nothing exceptional to be found here - it's this record's spirit that really drives it forward.
Oh, and just a comment to the previous reviewer; I think the cover art of this album fits the music quite nicely. It's a picture of a skeleton having a go with what seems to be a hawaiian woman - giving the record an edge while still justifying some of the more strange fusion stuff going on here.
Just my 2 cents off course.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Fun recording.
Published 2 months ago by Howard Janapol
5.0 out of 5 stars Could there be a "bad" Ry Cooder disc ? Of course not ! !
Ry Cooder at his absolute best.
Published 3 months ago by eandrews53
4.0 out of 5 stars This album makes you feel the music.
I understand that the title of this album has to do with the music causing the listener to get "goose bumps". Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lawrence D. Chico
5.0 out of 5 stars A great record
Bought it on vinyl years ago, had the casette, finally got around to getting the CD so I can listen to it in my car.
Published 16 months ago by DagT140E
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Ry; don't miss it!
This is a good album; very inventive, as all of his work, nostalgic and evocative. Everyone should get to listen to this under-rated genius(who never gets any air time on radio,... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars eclectic
Each song on this album is different. This is a great collection of music to have. I love it !
Published 19 months ago by catzak
5.0 out of 5 stars The Maestro of Pan-American Folk Music
Ryland Cooder recorded the few albums I have bought in every media that comes along since the 1970's. Read more
Published on February 2, 2011 by D. Ebert
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought this one to slake nostalgia ....
I remembered this recording from when it was first released. I remembered its title with great fondness, and the song "Smack Dab in the Middle" is part of my "permanent... Read more
Published on December 9, 2010 by Bill from OKC
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder's Best.
Much impoved re - master of Ry Cooder's best album. I srongly recommend this album of fine songs brilliantly performed
Published on September 18, 2009 by Rynus
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooder's best, and one of my favorite all time albums...
This is one of my favorite albums from all time. I haven't thought about it for a while, but something recently clicked on how I really dug this work. Read more
Published on October 14, 2007 by Grigory's Girl
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