No stranger to top flight musical partnerships, legendary singer-songwriter and Buffalo Springfield/CSN/CSN&Y principal Stephen Stills unites with fellow guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd and venerable Electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldberg to form the new all-star blues-rock supergroup The Rides. The multi-generational outfit’s debut album, "Can’t Get Enough", is set for CD, digital download, and vinyl release on Monday August 26 via Provogue Records.
Featuring 4 co-written originals, a handful of covers, and a vintage, previously unrecorded Stills gem "Can’t Get Enough" was inspired by - and is an homage to - the now classic 1968 album Super Session, which featured Stills on guitar on one side, and the late Mike Bloomfield on the other (Bloomfield had founded Electric Flag with Goldberg, who also played on Super Session, as did Blood, Sweat & Tears keyboardist Al Kooper).
The Rides bring a historic and distinctively American musical blues rock hybrid into the 21st century. Described by Stills as "the blues band of my dreams", The Rides will embark on a world tour beginning in September, with UK November dates to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The project began with Stills and Goldberg writing together at their mutual manager Elliot Roberts’ recommendation. "It was like finding a long lost soul brother" says Goldberg (who hadn’t met Stills before, their shared 1968 credit notwithstanding). "We connected on so many things, started jamming, and soon had begun writing our first song."
When Kenny Wayne Shepherd arrived, The Rides’ three-way chemistry immediately clicked. "The Rides are a perfect mix of generations, where three musicians who love and play the blues collide and create music that goes beyond all our other individual life experiences and career achievement," says 35-year-old, Shepherd, who’s had six #1 Blues albums. "Stephen and I have rock backgrounds as well, but the blues is the fabric that holds this all together."
That exhilarating creative sorcery blasts through ten tracks, four of them Stills, Shepherd, Goldberg co-writes including the album-opening barnburner "Roadhouse" - about the life of an itinerant bluesman - the melodic, CSN-esque "Don’t Want Lies," and the title track, a groove soaked, guitar-heavy anthem with a soul-baring lead vocal by Stills. Other highlights include a Crazy Horse-calibre interpretation of "Rockin’ in the Free World". "Everyone gets off on this one," says Goldberg, "it’s just a ton of electricity on this Neil Young classic."
The four additional covers are the tracks on which Shepherd sings lead, including "Talk To Me Baby" and "Honey Bee" by blues giants Elmore James and Muddy Waters, respectively, and Iggy and The Stooges’ "Search and Destroy," which The Rides truly make their own. The album closes with the raucous "Word Game," a song Stills wrote during his late ’60s era with Buffalo Springfield, but never recorded. "It’s an old acoustic song that I had fun adapting to an electric band," he says.
The in-the-moment energy and unscripted emotion of "Can’t Get Enough", however, are among the album’s greatest strengths, as is the powerhouse guitar interplay between Stills and Shepherd, and the stellar accompaniment from Goldberg - who, as a teenager in his native Chicago, sat in with Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Howlin’ Wolf, and went on to play keyboards for Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, formed The Electric Flag, and composed with Gerry Goffin.
The album was recorded live in the studio over the course of about a week at EastWest in Los Angeles, helmed by long-time Shepherd producer Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Modern Lovers). Mostly first or second takes made the album’s final cut. In addition to Chris Layton, Shepherd’s drummer, and also a veteran of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Double Trouble, the album features bassist Kevin McCormick (CSN, Jackson Browne).
"In the spirit of that simple, raw authentic 40s and 50s blues music the three of us love, we got in there and boom! A few takes and we were done," says Stills. "The songs have muscle; they don’t sound dated or contrived. They’re very natural and organic. I can’t wait to tour with these guys and start recording again."
Hampered by ill health, but never ones to retire shyly, The Who continue celebrating their 50th anniversary as they contemplate retirement.
Guitar Planet grades the creative comebacks from three iconic artists who are attempting to give 2015 a much-needed injection of impetus.
Guitar Planet takes on new albums by southern stars Blackberry Smoke, nu-metal icons Papa Roach and the legendary Venom.
The music industry’s glamorous state of the union address was delivered this weekend, but what did the Grammys have to say about guitar music?
Enter Shikari renew their archly political assault while expanding their sonic horizons on The Mindsweep.