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Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg Form Blues-Rock Trio, Ready New Album

The Rides is a new all-star blues-rock trio formed by legendary singer-songwriter and Buffalo Springfield/CSN/CSN&Y principal Stephen Stills, fellow guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and venerable Electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldberg.

The Rides took shape after Stills and Goldberg wrote 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.”

Next came Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and their three-way chemistry was immediate and intense.

“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 36-year-old, Shepherd, who’s had six #1 Blues albums.

The Rides New AlbumDebut album Can’t Get Enough, due out Aug. 27,  is 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 form into the 21st century, and Stills calls the group the “the blues band of my dreams.”

Among the album’s highlights are four Stills/Shepherd/Goldberg co-writes including the barnburner “RoadHouse”—about the life of an itinerant bluesman—CSN influenced “Don’t Want Lies,” and the title track, a guitar-heavy anthem with a soul-baring lead vocal by Stills. There’s also a Crazy Horse-caliber send-up of “Rockin’ In The Free World,” and four additional covers on which Shepherd sings lead, including “Talk To Me Baby” and “Honey Bee” by Elmore James and Muddy Waters, respectively, and Iggy Pop & The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy.” The set closes with “Word Game,” a song Stills wrote during his late ’60s era with Buffalo Springfield, and which appeared on his 1971 solo album Stephen Stills 2.

The album was recorded in the studio over the course of about a week at EastWest in Los Angeles, helmed by longtime Shepherd producer Jerry Harrison, a renowned musician in his own right (Talking Heads, Modern Lovers, Casual Gods) as well as a fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. 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 Vaughan’s Double Trouble—the players include 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.

That spirit will come alive on stage when The Rides tour in September.

The series of dates kicks off with the band filming a concert for television from New York City’s iconic Iridium Jazz Club on August 28 and 29, and wraps on September 27 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nev.  Highlights also include shows at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston (9/7), Theatres at Westbury in Westbury, N.Y. (9/8), Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, Wis. (9/13), The Backyard in Austin, Texas (9/21), and The Fillmore in San Francisco (9/25).

Singer-songwriter Beth Hart is the tour’s opening act. Last December, Hart captured the spotlight when she joined Jeff Beck at the Kennedy Center Honors to pay musical tribute to Buddy Guy, and she recently sang at Eric Clapton’s Crossroad Guitar Festival at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Currently in the Top 10 on Amazon’s blues chart, Can’t Get Enough is available for pre-orders for $9.99. Order here, and enjoy the making of Can’t Get Enough video below.

 

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