The New Riders Of The Purple Sage were originally formed in 1969 as a spinoff of the Grateful Dead (so that Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh would have an outlet to play "straight" country music...) the New Riders took on a life of its own, with the dudes from the Dead eventually bowing out and leaving the band to songwriter John Dawson... I promise: when I have more time I will get around to reviewing their albums -- they were certainly one of the best and best-known hippiebilly bands of the '70s... And still fun to groove out on, lo, these decades later.
The New Riders Of The Purple Sage "The Best Of..." (Columbia-Legacy, 1976/2006)
A much-welcome reissue of a classic best-of from one of the '70s most iconic (and accomplished) of the hippie-stoner country-rock bands. Originally, the New Riders were formed as an outlet for Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh (of the Dreadful Grate) to explore their love of country music outside of the more far-out confines of their acid-test jam-band scene. They couldn't stick with it full-time, though, and eventually handed the California-based band over to songwriter John Dawson, who sculpted it into one of the best stoner novelty acts of the decade. This best-of includes classics such as "Glendale Train" and pothead anthems like "Panama Red" and "Henry," as well as boogie-band covers of old R&B and teenpop tunes... This new CD version also tosses in some live tracks, including one ("Linda") that was previously unreleased. It all holds up surprisingly well... If you remember these songs from the old days of freeform FM radio, they'll still make you smile -- if you're a whippersnapper who's never heard 'em before, then here's a nice chance to check out some tunes from the primordial roots of the alt-country scene.
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "New Riders Of The Purple Sage" (CBS, 1971)
This debut LP featured the pothead ballad "Henry," as well as their fine version of "Glendale Train..."
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Powerglide" (CBS, 1972)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Gypsy Cowboy" (CBS, 1972)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "The Adventures Of Panama Red" (CBS, 1973)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Home, Home On The Road" (CBS, 1974)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Brujo" (CBS, 1974)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Oh, What A Mighty Time" (CBS, 1975)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "New Riders" (MCA, 1976)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Who Are These Guys?" (MCA, 1977)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Marin County Line" (MCA, 1977)
New Riders Of The Purple Sage "Feelin' All Right" (A&M, 1980)
Hick Music Index