Artist Vincent Valdez created this painting to accompany Ry Cooder's new song.
Artist Vincent Valdez created this painting to accompany Ry Cooder's new song. Vincent Valdez
Arizona's ongoing battle over immigration has inspired a new single from guitarist, composer and venerated session musician Ry Cooder. The song, "Quicksand," tells the story of six people who attempt to make their way from Mexico to the Arizona border via the so-called Devil's Highway.
"The Devil’s Highway has been used by migrants traveling on foot for over 100 years," says Cooder. "You should try it sometime. Out there, temperatures can get above 130 degrees. If you fall down, you have religious hallucinations, then you die, cooking from the inside out. If you get lucky, you might make it to Yuma, but then what? That's no comfort station they run up there."
"Quicksand" will be available on iTunes on June 29, along with original artwork from painter Vincent Valdez. It also features Cooder's son Joachim on drums, with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of the Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles. All proceeds will go to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.