Music: The Wizard of Slide

It is called "slide" or "bottleneck," a style of guitar playing in which something like a piece of broken glass is used to fret the strings to produce a strong, lowdown sound. A few decades ago it was the sound of a whole genus of American music that might be called backroads blues. Today its best exponent is Ry Cooder, a guitarist and singer of wry wit and concentrated energy who has extended the troubadour tradition of Woody Guthrie and fashioned a distinctive personality for himself from the shards of the American musical past....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!