180-gram vinyl, mastered from the original master tapes
Ry Cooder's cross-cultural Chicken Skin Music, a mix of Hawaiian, gospel, conjunto, folk and blues
The title of Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Music — Hawaiian slang for goosebumps — serves as a direct, simple description of the album's emotional appeal. But it barely scratches the surface of a 1976 effort that triggered an interest in "world music" a decade before the term became commonplace and a genre into and of itself.
Part of a series of inimitable mid-1970s records on which Cooder ignored traditional boundaries and instigated lasting cross-cultural communication, Chicken Skin Music blends gospel, Hawaiian, folk, blues, and Tex-Mex styles into a brilliant roots stew distinguished with virtuosic playing and inspired contextual surprises.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's 180-gram LP of Chicken Skin Music brings the brilliant instrumental textures and lively tonalities to the fore like no prior digital edition. Graced with silent, black backgrounds and generous soundstages, this reissue particularly underscores the depth of Flaco Jimenez's accordion contributions. You'll hear the air flowing through the reeds, pressure resonating from the bellows, and the wide-spanning timbres emanating from the register stops.
Equally transfixing are the lifelike manners in which the rich assortment of guitars come alive, with each note occupying its own space and portraying a character unique to the individual instrument, be it a slack-key, steel, or acoustic guitar. The result is a multi-detailed, organic-sounding musical tapestry that dazzles by way of beautiful interplay,