Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Joachim Cooder, one of America's dedicated musical pioneers. is coming off the success of his solo debut in Ireland last Fall. Cooder has upcoming tour dates there, beginning in April 25th in Belfast. The ever-eclectic man-of-all-music. also has a new 2024 release, Dreamer’s Motel that sees the Californian building on the success of his Nonesuch Records debut Over That Road I’m Bound, and journeying into brand new areas with a musical soul that never stops searching for new ways to express his life-long sonic adventures. Joachim Cooder's lifelong pursuit of merging new sounds with a far-reaching grasp of the past is still on the move.
“I grew up in a household very much alive with Irish music. My dad Ry Cooder, collaborated often with Paddy Maloney and the Chieftains, so I got to really experience the sound up close and let it sink in and influence me as a player and songwriter. One of the last times I saw Paddy we mentioned my dad’s people were the O’Learys and he said, "the O’Learys are from Cork, so this trip is a bit of a pilgrimage to find my Cork O’Learys! Come on down!”
Joachim Cooder has been a sought-after percussionist for over two decades. He has performed on now-legendary recordings with his father, like the landmark Buena Vista Social Club sessions, as well as Joachim on his own with artists like Ali Farka Touré, who inspired Cooder to take up the mbira. He has produced albums for other artists, composed for film, and collaborated with choreographer Daniel Ezralow.
On Over That Road I’m Bound, Cooder uses the plain-spoken songs country-music progenitor and banjo player Uncle Dave Macon recorded as a jumping-off point. Playing with the lyrics and reworking melodies for his chosen instrument: an electric mbira (a variation on an African thumb piano). Uncut called the album, “Warm, uplifting and quietly spectacular,” and Mojo said, “However sui generis Over That Road I’m Bound is, there’s a reassuringly Cooderesque familiarity to it. Perfect late-night listening accompanied by a tumbler of something strong.” BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe said it was “one of the most intriguing releases we’ve heard this year.”
Joachim Cooder was born in Santa Monica in 1976 and grew up surrounded by music alongside his father, who took him on the road at an early age on drums, playing both live and in the studio. Joachim has toured, shared stages and recordings with Johnny Cash, Ali Farka Touré, Mavis Staples, Steve Earle, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, Nick Lowe and Buena Vista Social Club. He has produced albums for Julia Commagere and Carly Ritter; composed for film and collaborated on music for dance.
In 2020 Nonesuch Records released his most recent solo album ‘Over That Road I’m Bound’, which features Ry Cooder, Rayna Gellert, Juliette Commagere, Sam Gendel, Glenn Patscha, Amir Yaghmai, Dan Gellert, and Vieux Farka Touré. The album is Joachim’s fresh interpretation of songs made famous by pioneering Appalachian banjo picker Uncle Dave Macon and it went on to earn him a Top 10 Album & Single in the US & UK. In 2022 Joachim played drums and bass on his father and Taj Mahal’s Grammy-winning tribute to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee titled ‘Get On Board’.
Joachim is completing a new solo album which is being scheduled for a Fall 2024 release.
Joachim Cooder finds different roads to follow and brings his adventurous song ideas and prodigious playing to the stage and studio. Very few modern artists have as wide-ranging a history as this man, and the way he is approaching the future is with wide-open ears and the knowledge that the road ahead really does go on forever.