NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE "Powerglide"
"Evokes images of lonesome horsemen riding across painted-desert
landscapes... and then into the eventual dark, starscape of night."
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, first released in 1972. 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.' —AllMusicGuide
•Cut directly from 24-bit/96kHz master tape transfers.
•Four-panel insert w/liner notes by Richard Allen (Shindig!) and Ian Capilouto (Maplewood Records)
•Features Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzman of the Grateful Dead, Spencer
Dryden of Jefferson Airplane, and famed British
pianist Nicky Hopkins (Beatles, Kinks, Stones)
•Includes all original Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse art elements from the original album
•The band's highest-charting album, reaching number 33 on the Billboard 200
•First vinyl re-release! (incredible, but apparently true)
Catalogue number: LION LP-169