Arizona Immigration Battle Inspires Fiery New Ry Cooder Single Quicksand Nonesuch Available Exclusively Via iTunes On June 29

June 24, 2010

Ry Cooder has recorded an incredible new song "Quicksand," inspired by the AZ immigration battle.  It will be available on iTunes starting June 29, with all proceeds benefiting MALDEF (the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund), but you can hear the song right now at

undefinedIn response to the immigration battle currently raging around the country, six-time Grammy winner Ry Cooder wrote "Quicksand," a slow-burning rocker that tells the story of six would-be immigrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. The track, which will be released exclusively on iTunes on June 29, features Cooder's son Joachim on drums, along with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles.  Cooder has chosen MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, to receive all proceeds from sales of the single.

Thirst, hunger, injury and fear befalls Cooder's immigrants during their journey.   "Quicksand I think we lost direction," he laments in the chorus, referring to more than just the song's protagonists, "I think we're sinking down." At the border, a vigilante in a Dodge Ram turns away the song's only two survivors. "I think you'd take more pity on rescue pit bull dogs," the narrator pleads before turning around to face his death sentence in the scorching heat of the desert.

"The Devil's Highway has been used by migrants traveling on foot for over 100 years," says Cooder.  "You should try it sometime. Out there, temperatures can get above 130 degrees.  If you fall down, you have religious hallucinations, then you die, cooking from the inside out.  If you get lucky, you might make it to Yuma, but then what?  That's no comfort station they run up there, cabron."

MALDEF President and General Counsel David Damian says, "Defeating Arizona's SB 1070 - and the potential copycat laws that have since been announced by unscrupulous legislators around the nation - will require a broad national community effort to reinforce the constitutional principles and values that characterize our nation.  Our heartfelt thanks to Ry Cooder for being a leader in that necessary community effort."

Accompanying the single is original artwork by celebrated Latino artist Vincent Valdez, whose work has appeared on previous Cooder albums and on exhibition in numerous museums including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

About MALDEF: Founded in 1968, MALDEF is known as the "law firm of the Latino community", and also led the litigation that defeated California's similarly inhumane Proposition 187 several years ago.  With this experience, MALDEF is working to defeat Arizona's SB 1070 law and uphold the values of our constitution.  For more information go to:

Keep up-to-date on the latest news
Get our Free Newsletter Here!


comments powered by Disqus

Reader Poll

Best amp from the 1960s?

See results without voting »