The Long Ryders - Psychedelic Country Soul - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Long Ryders - Psychedelic Country Soul

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2019-02-15
The Long Ryders - Psychedelic Country Soul
The Long Ryders - Psychedelic Country Soul

Somebody really believes that Sid Griffin and his cohorts, AKA The Long Ryders deserve another shot at fame. Along with an album of  completely new music titled Psychedelic Country Soul, there are two deluxe (re)issues (demos and live tracks) of their mid-Eighties best, State of The Union and Two-Fisted Tales. For the uninitiated, and there are quite a few of those, or for those that are of the opinion that The Long Ryders were just re-hashed version of The Byrds, this might seem to be overkill, even wondering whether bringing the band back serves any musical purpose.

Yet is not even a question for Larry Chatman, their long-time friend and a collaborator who made all this possible, and the band’s hardcore fans, including myself. While the band’s initial existence and later on, they were labeled many things, Paisley Underground, as in Eighties neo-West Coast psychedelic movement, Country, Soul Americana, rock revivalist, what not. Each of those by itself was not true, but all of them together were.

That could be the reason that Griffin and all the original band members (Stephen McCarthy, Tom Stevens, and Greg Sowders, along with producer Ed Stasium) opted for Psychedelic Country Soul as the album’s title because that is exactly what you get. And a bit more. Like the song of the same name and a tribute cover of Tom Petty’s Wall. And several genres and sub-genres you could name, all of which Sid and the guys could run through with ease even half asleep and still sound like The Long Ryders, a band was always about any music that sounds good.

A lot of that has to do with the playing and songwriting experience the band members have and with the fact that Griffin possesses an encyclopaedic knowledge of modern music (four books written behind his belt), so that an easy flying rocker like the opener “Greenville” or the sleek country of “California State Line”, for example not only sound great but as if they could have been composed and recorded anywhere between 1969 and 2019. To put it more precisely, they sound timeless. At least to these ears. Hopefully, to many others too.

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