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Distillation Blend: When Older and Younger Crew Form New Bands

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 92% (9 Votes)

The Rides rock on every level and they are out of their time, more akin to some of the best blues rock of the past than what is happening now. Still, they probably won’t be appreciated by us old dudes or found by the new walkman crowd...that’s right, walkman crowd. See, The Rides are a multi-generational band and at least one of their members would remember Walkmans as revolutionary.  Stephen Stills, Electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldberg, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd form the core band, though it is difficult to think of the sound without the addition of Kevin McCormick (too many credits to name here, though recently bass player on Coz!) on bass, and Chris Layton of Double Trouble fame on drums. So how do they sound?


All ten songs on the album are excellent, with the possible exception of the lead-off tune “Roadhouse”—and it is only singled out for exception because the other tunes are so well done.  Their covers of the Muddy Waters’  classic “Honey Bee” and the 50s’ classic “That’s a Pretty Good Love” are true highlights of the album—just excellent musicianship and fond re-examinations of those tunes.

The same has to be said of their cover of Stills’ own “Word Game” from his 1971 album Stephen Stills 2. Anyone thinking the past is necessarily better than now better think again; this is one of those occasions when the Stills of 2013 may have a better handle on the song than the Stills of 1971—though both are excellent renditions.

The Connections Continue

Besides the connections to Crosby, there’s a nod to Neil Young as well with the cover of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” It’s a great cover, affectionately true to the original. And, yes, tenuous as those noted connections are, I did look and unfortunately there does not seem to be any connection to Graham Nash and all the beauty that could lead to, though Crosby, Stills, and Nash are touring this summer.  (Hopefully an album will come of that regrouping.)

The Rides are an excellent group, sounding like they’ve been playing together for years and loving the music, and they prove a blend can still beat a single malt some of the time.





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