First Listen

First Listen: The Chieftains Featuring Ry Cooder

Audio for the feature is no longer available. The album was released on Mar. 9, 2010.

Ry Cooder has a restless ear. Throughout his four-decade musical career, he's explored the music of Mexico, Africa, Hawaii and Cuba — even Tuvan throat singers — not to mention various strains of roots music in the U.S.

His latest recording project is a cultural mashup of Mexican and Irish music called San Patricio. The album is performed by the Irish music icons in The Chieftains, along with Cooder and a handful of celebrated Mexican musicians.

chieftains and cooder i i

hide captionRy Cooder (bottom left) collaborated with the Irish music icons in The Chieftains on San Patricio.

Judith Burrows
chieftains and cooder

Ry Cooder (bottom left) collaborated with the Irish music icons in The Chieftains on San Patricio.

Judith Burrows

Like other Cooder projects, San Patricio tells a story: A group of downtrodden Irish-immigrant soldiers deserted the U.S. Army in 1846 to fight for the Mexican Army in the Mexican-American War (1846-48). As you'll hear, the result pays heartfelt tribute to the soldiers of San Patricio (Spanish for St. Patrick), in the form of the Mexican music they might have heard during breaks on the battlefield, as well as Irish songs from their homeland.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

First Listen