Ry Cooder and the wonderful Chicken Skin Band turn in a truly classic performance at an Old Grey Whistle Test recording from Shepherds Bush Television Theatre in 1977. Cooder has always had a special knack for finding new depths in familiar songs, and ‘He’ll Have to Go’, originally a hit for Jim Reeves and written by Joe and Audrey Allison, is a case in point. Changing the rhythm and phrasing, in a Norteno style with the fabulous Flaco Jimenez on accordion, Cooder delivers the standout version of the song, also recorded by Elvis Presley in what is reputed to be his last studio recording.
Full band lineup: Guitar, Vocals – Ry Cooder, Alto Saxophone – Pat Rizzo, Drums – Isaac Garcia, Bass – Henry ‘Big Red’ Ojeda, Bajo Sexto – Jesse Poncé, Accordion – Flaco Jimenez, Vocals – Eldridge King, Terry Evans, Bobby King.
This brings back memories – absolutely love this version of a classic song. Jiminez’s accordion just lifts it into a different realm, a universe away from Jim Reeves.