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Music  >>  Vinyl  >>  Rock/Pop

New Riders of the Purple Sage

Powerglide

New Riders Of The Purple Sage Powerglide
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"Evokes images of lonesome horsemen riding across painted-desert landscapes... and then into the eventual dark, starscape of night." — Ian Capilouto, Maplewood Records In the days before genre obsession, a rock and roll fervour drew on a rediscovery of blue grass, folk, blues and ‘country music’. Add to the mix consciousness-expansion afforded by the proliferation of psychedelic drugs, and the music scene of the West Coast of America percolated, powered by this heady brew. At the heart of this experiment in new music and consciousness the New Riders of The Purple Sage were born. The history of the New Riders will forever be intertwined with that of their fellow travelers the Grateful Dead. Both bands shared a down-home vibe, and shared members for recording dates. Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead co-founded the New Riders with John Dawson and David Nelson as an opportunity to play pedal steel guitar—although he plays banjo and dobro on Powerglide. Dawson and Nelson returned the favor, playing on Dead masterpieces "American Beauty" and "Workingman’s Dead". Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Dead rounded out the New Riders rhythm section until David Torbert took over on bass and Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane fame took over on drums. Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman plays percussion on this album. To add to all that star power, noted British pianist Nicky Hopkins (Beatles, Kinks, Stones) played keyboards on Powerglide. Dave Torbert's ‘California Day’ is a gem, a hymn to the West Coast with some beautiful slide and fuzz guitar work; ‘Contract,’ is an equally impressive blend of country rock and old west imagery. NRPS's cover of 'Willie and the Hand Jive' has a distinctly Grateful Dead jam vibe to it. This wasn’t music desperate for chart success, it was a soundtrack to an outlaw, countercultural lifestyle that aimed to escape the city and get away to the mountains. So, saddle up! "The group's second album is pretty much definitive, especially in its remastered version... which has really crisp, sound. Joe Maphis' "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)" is a great opener, a honky tonk-style number featuring David Nelson's lead vocals and Nicky Hopkins' piano sharing the spotlight with Nelson's and John Dawson's axes. The guitars on Dawson's 'Rainbow' are nearly pretty enough to be a Flying Burrito Brothers number. Most of what follows is as good or better, especially Dave Torbert's 'California Day' and 'Contract,' and Dawson's 'Sweet Lovin' One." — All Music Guide

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