Ry Cooder: Every Woman I Know (Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile)
Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout An Automobile) is quintessential Ry Cooder. This version showcases his best guitar style - just the right number of notes - sparse but still full. The vocal backup is also classic Cooder: a superb 3-part harmony. It is also a great example of his chops on the slide guitar for which he is famed. Like many of the "roots" songs he has chosen to revive, the lyrics tell a story that could be considered slightly politically incorrect in our day and age.
Not only does the song tell a story of the classic age of the car in America (the '50s), it also references indirectly an alternate meaning of "Getting There" (the back seat). This is the age of the Drive-In movie theater: to get there, you had to have a car. Without a car, you couldn't even get a date (he sings: "seems like the women in this town don't pay no attention to you 'less you're drivin'")
William R. (Billy "The Kid") Emerson, who wrote the song in the mid 50s, played his version in more of a rhythm and blues style - almost a big band sound that included a horns section. Cooder's version almost veers to a reggae style but still manages to retain an air of the original. Cooder has played this song with a number of different musicians, including John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner (in their short-lived group called Little Village) as well as with David Lindley.
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