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Ry Cooder Premieres New Song, "Shrinking Man"

(Image credit: Joachim Cooder)

Multi-instrumentalist—and slide guitar master—Ry Cooder has premiered a new song, "Shrinking Man," and you can hear it below. The track is from Cooder's upcoming album, The Prodigal Son, which will be released May 11 via Fantasy Records. It'll be his first new solo release in six years.

The album's 11 tracks, including three Cooder originals and covers of his favorite spirituals from the past century, share a particular resonance in this time and place, forming an unflinching look at the state of play in modern America.

"I do connect the political/economic dimensions with the inner life of people, since people are at risk and oppressed on all sides in our world today," Cooder said in a press release. "There's some kind of reverence mood that takes hold when you play and sing these songs. 'Reverence' is a word I heard my granddaughter's nursery school teacher use, a Kashmiri woman. She said, 'We don't want to teach religion, but instill reverence.' I thought that was a good word for the feeling of this music."

The album was recorded in Hollywood and produced by Ry and his chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder (who also happens to be Ry's son).

Cooder will be hitting the road in early June, and you can see all his current tour dates—and the track list for the new album—below.

For tickets, pre-order information and much more, visit

The Prodigal Son Track List:
1. Straight Street (James W. Alexander/Jesse Whitaker)
2. Shrinking Man (Ry Cooder)
3. Gentrification (Ry Cooder/Joachim Cooder)
4. Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right (Traditional; Blind Willie Johnson)
5. The Prodigal Son (Traditional)
6. Nobody's Fault But Mine (Blind Willie Johnson)
7. You Must Unload (Alfred Reed)
8. I'll Be Rested When the Roll is Called (Blind Roosevelt Graves)
9. Harbor of Love (Carter Stanley)
10. Jesus and Woody (Ry Cooder)
11. In His Care (William L. Dawson)

Ry Cooder on Tour:
June 3 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
June 4 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
June 6 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
June 7 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
June 8 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
June 9 - Derry, NH - Tupelo
June 26 - Toronto, ONT - Massey Hall
June 27 - Ottawa, ONT - Centerpoint
June 29 - Montréal, QE - Jazz Festival @ Maisonneuve
June 30 - Burlington, VT - Flynn Theater
July 1 - Lenox, MA - Tanglewood
July 3 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center
July 14 - Courtenay, BC - Vancouver Island MusicFest
July 17 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
July 20 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
July 21 - Napa, CA - Uptown Theatre

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.