The Rides are a blues-rock “supergroup” whose three members are well known musicians. For a start you have Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). Joining him is guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and keyboard player Barry Goldberg (Electric flag).
With The Rides first album we have a mix of original songs and cover versions – six covers and four newly written original songs. The choice of covers a band chooses to play is often interesting, and there are some obvious artists you wouldn’t be surprised if they chose to cover – Muddy Waters being one, and Neil Young being another. Both these artists are covered here, but the choices of artist to cover aren’t all predictable – I certainly wouldn’t have expected to hear a Blues-Rock group covering Iggy and the stooges, but that’s exactly what The Rides have done with their version of ‘Search and destroy’. Straight away then they’re firing a warning shot that this might not be an average blues rock album.
Brief comments on a few tracks..
The album kicks off with “Mississippi road house”. It’s one of the new tracks and is about an itineant bluesman. It’s got a great guitar-driven groove and the growling vocals give it a nice gritty blues feel. It’s an excellent start to the album.
“That’s a pretty good love” comes next and is a much faster song with the piano taking the role as the lead instrument, although there is a great guitar solo here too. The vocals are much smoother and lighter.
“Search and destroy” as previously mentioned is a cover of the song by Iggy and the Stooges, so I was very curious to see how it would sound. On the one hand it’s clearly recognisable as an Iggy and the Stooges song, but it’s been given a blues-rock flavour. It’s the heaviest track on the album and works amazingly well – a track you really need to listen to.
Right from the start with it’s piano introduction, “Honey Bee” has a real blues feel to it, which is hardly surprising given the fact it was written by Muddy Waters. It’s a nice slow track and adds another facet to the album – there really is a lot of variety on the album from the straight blues, to a wide range blues-rock with “Seek and destroy” being at the far end of the spectrum, with it’s primarily rock sound and just a hint of blues.
“Rockin’ in the free world” is a great song that I’ve always enjoyed, and The Rides have done a superb version. The song has been covered before by performers including Pearl Jam and John Mellencamp, but for me, the version on the album is the best yet. It’s got a lot of power with the heavy guitar sound and pounding drums, and I personally enjoy the vocals here more than Neil Young’s original (I’m just not that big a fan of his voice). It’s my favourite track on the album, and one I never get tired of hearing.
This album is one that lovers of Blues-Rock definitely need to check out. It’s wide variety means that whether you like rock with a touch of blues, or blues with a hint of rock, there’s something here that will appeal, and I think that whichever direction you approach the album from, the album is strong enough to keep people’s interest. It’s certainly been heavily listened to me over the last week, and once I’ve got a couple of other albums reviewed I’ll be listening to this album even more.
“Can’t get enough” will be released on Monday 26th August on Provogue records.
1. Mississippi road house
2. That’s a pretty good love
3. Don’t want lies
4. Search and destroy
5. Can’t get enough of loving you
6. Honey bee
7. Rockin’ in the free world
8. Talk to me baby
9. Only teardrops fall
10. Word game