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New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds

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New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Buddy Cage Interview ] NRPS Discography ] NRPS Live ] New  Riders Photos ]
New Riders of the Purple Sage

17 Pine Avenue is the follow-up to Where I Come From.

There are a few New Riders of the Purple Sage releases in mid-2009. 

*One is an exceptional new studio release entitled Where I Come From. Read our exclusive Buddy Cage interview  discussing the new album and other musical topics.

*Second is a live archive release from Winterland San Francisco, CA 12/31/1977. We've reviewed it.

The current line-up of The New Riders of the Purple Sage is: 
David Nelson and Buddy Cage
with
Michael Falzarano
Ronnie Penque
and
Johnny Markowski

Where I Come From
Buddy Cage Interview

Winterland San Francisco, CA 12/31/1977
Review
The Best Of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds

The New Riders of the Purple Sage 

R.I.P - Farewell to Marmaduke: John Dawson (1945-2009) 
By Gary Lambert - Posted on Dead.net

Friday, November 27, 2009
The band will be playing a Very Special Show as a tribute to John " Marmaduke " Dawson, at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, California, on Friday, November 27. 

In celebrating the musical legacy of John Dawson and 40 years of NRPS music, the band will perform the first album in its entirety in sequence for their opening set followed by a second set of new songs as well as more classic New Riders material. A long strange trip indeed that continues today. This promises to be a very interesting night of music you won't want to miss...

Please join us as doors open for a slide show featuring the life & times of John " Marmaduke " Dawson.

Background Introduction

The New Riders of the Purple Sage were founded by Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, and John Dawson (Marmaduke). Three musicians and friends. Robert Hunter assisted too, by playing bass and writing with John Dawson.

In the early 1960's David Nelson played bluegrass music with Garcia with the Wildwood Boys, Black Mountain Boys, and the Hart Valley Drifters. (Our Jerry Garcia's Banjo Years page has a photo of Robert Hunter, David Nelson, and Jerry Garcia from 1963 and discusses this period). David was also a member of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band during 1987 - '88, taking Broadway by storm.

After Garcia bought a pedal in March of 1969 the seeds of The New Riders were sprouted. John Dawson recalls in Blair Jackson's book Garcia: An American Life, "I boldly invited myself over to his house to hear what it sounded like. I brought my guitar along ...that was really the beginning of the whole New Riders thing."

David Nelson was recruited to play lead guitar. In the beginning the New Riders primarily opened up for the Grateful Dead and other Grateful Dead members played in the band too, Phil Lesh on bass, and Mickey Hart on drums. Eventually Dave Torbert took over on bass and Spencer Dryden on drums. 

During this time the Grateful Dead were adding music with similar roots during 1969 and 1970, both onstage and in the studio. On their studio albums from this era, Workingman's Dead credits, David Nelson - acoustic guitar on "Cumberland Blues," and American Beauty, gives a "thanks to" the New Riders of the Purple Sage and musical credits to Dave Torbert -  bass on "Box of Rain" and Dave Nelson - electric guitar on "Box of Rain."  A top rated live Grateful Dead release, Dick's Picks Volume 8, includes David Nelson on mandolin and vocals on "Cold Jordan, and guitar on "Cumberland Blues." John Dawson is credited with vocals on "Cold Jordan." 

Then the inevitable, replacing Jerry Garcia. The fall of 1971 was the end Garcia's tenure as a permanent member in the band. An interesting quote by Garcia on the subject from Blair Jackson's book Garcia: An American Life, "The New Riders are actually too good for me to be playing steel with. What they need is a regular, good guy who's been playing since he was three." 

Garcia's replacement was Buddy Cage. He was discovered on Festival Express while playing in Ian Sylvia's band. Festival Express is the 1970 excursion through Canadian by train. The festivities were captured on video and released in 2004, the "Trans-Continental Pop Festival." The movie includes performances, interviews, jam sessions on the tour train and more. Three concerts were played in Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary.

Buddy remained a member in the band through 1982 with a brief departure in 1978. During this time Cage along with Stephen Love joined a John Cippolina band, The San Francisco All-Stars. Replacing Cage for a North Eastern tour was Sneaky Pete Kleinow, best know for his work with The Flying Burrito Brothers. That didn't last long. Commander Cody's steel player, Buddy Black, had a short stint too. Cage rejoined the band in 1980. 

John Dawson kept the New Riders together without Buddy Cage and David Nelson between 1982 - 1997. He and multi-instrumentalist Rusty Gauthier were the core of the band. 

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Reformed in 2005 by David Nelson and Buddy Cage.
The current line-up of The New Riders of the Purple Sage is: 
David Nelson and Buddy Cage
with
Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque, and Johnny Markowski. 

In 2009, The New Riders released a new CD entitled Where I Come From with 12 smoking new tracks, eleven originals. It is really good. The generous helping of 12 songs include seven penned by team of David Nelson and Grateful Dead lyrist Robert Hunter. 

You can also enjoy the new line-up on DVD at a live gig performing their classics, Wanted: Live at Turkey Trot

Read our exclusive Buddy Cage interview discussing Where I Come From and other topics. 

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds

The New Riders music

A few common descriptions used to describe the New Riders music include:
*American's premiere psychedelic cowboy band.
*The greatest cosmic country-rock band of the universe.

The New Riders are frequently put into the Country Rock genre. From their origins that made sense with the material they wrote at the beginning. Though the years they grew musically. You'll also hear The New Riders interpret the blues, rock n' roll, play Chuck Berry like there's no tomorrow, and can simply jam. 

The New Riders music has some great picking by Buddy Cage on pedal steel guitar and David Nelson on the Fender Telecaster. Pair that with John Dawson's writing, stage presence, and singing, along with a strong rhythm section.

When The New Riders perform Rolling Stones covers, they remind me of The Faces. With the English accent they mimic, and the rock energy they exert; I can imagine Ron Wood pulling out a slide and wailing on "Dead Flowers" in ways that Buddy Cage utilizes in the New Riders interpretation of that Stones song. Some great bar-room style music! Play it loud.

There are some good biographies in our links section for more historical information on the New Riders of the Purple Sage. 

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Buddy Cage Interview ] NRPS Discography ] NRPS Live ] New  Riders Photos ]
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds

Odds and ends, ramblings
A few other interesting relationships between Jerry Garcia and the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Road Trips GD 1971- Marathon shows

Friend of the Devil
The Grateful Dead song "Friend of the Devil" was almost a New Riders song. According to Blair Jackson's book Garcia: An American Life, Hunter started writing the song with John Dawson. In the book Dawson shares details of his musical contribution to the song and Jerry's reaction when he and Hunter showed it to him...let's write a bridge...the rest is history. The Grateful Dead recorded it on their studio album American Beauty and included it in their concert rotation throughout their career. In fact I can't think of a song they've varied more. It was in their acoustic sets in 1970. In their electric sets, they had fast live versions, and slowed it down a bit. Further, Jerry Garcia had various renditions in his solo bands, electric, and acoustic, including an awesome rendition with the Garcia Grisman line-up. 

The New Riders recorded a version of "Friend of the Devil" on their 1989 album Keep on Keepin' On

Robert Hunter is another connection between the Grateful Dead and New Riders. He's written with Dawson, Nelson, and of course Garcia. Hunter, Nelson, and Garcia played in a version of the Wildwood Boys back in the early 1960's. 

Hunter was credited with playing bass in the early New Riders, before they recorded their first album.  

On the 2009 New Riders release Where I Come From, Robert Hunter co-wrote seven songs with David Nelson. We have more details about this in our Buddy Cage interview.

From Robert Hunter's solo album Tales of the Great Rum Runners, Buddy Cage played on a few tracks including "Keys To The Rain" and "It Must Have Been The Roses."  Jerry Garcia played on a few songs on the album too.

Midnight at the Oasis - The great song by Maria Muldaur was written by guitarist David Nichtern. The guitar solo is by Amos Garrett. 

The connection is that Garrett played in Great Speckled Bird along with New Riders pedal steel guitarist Buddy Cage. Combine that with the short lived band that Jerry Garcia played in during 1974, The Great American String Band, which included David Nichtern. That group performed a few live version of "Midnight at the Oasis." It's a minor connection, but is shows how some musical family trees connect. 

David Nichtern also played on some studio recordings for Jerry Garcia released as bonus material on All Good Things box set including "Lonesome Town," and "Back Home In Indiana."

Nicky Hopkins - The great pianist known most famously for his ivory touches to the Rolling Stones records, played on the second New Riders album, Powerglide

Jerry Garcia recruited Nicky for his touring band in 1975 and he played on portions of Garcia's studio classic Reflections. Presently there is no complete concert of this band. However, there are a few interesting tracks on Jerry Garcia's box-set All Good Things. From that box, the information about the Hopkins contributions and commentary are on the following pages from our website.
Outtakes, Jams, and Alternates  

Reflections

The Rolling Stones - Both the New Riders and Jerry Garcia were big fans of the Rolling Stones. The two most common New Riders Stones covers, "Honky Tonk Women" and "Dead Flowers" are wonderfully played. 

I'm providing a link to an audio presentation by Eric Levy at the 2008 Grateful Dead at the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association Conference that you may enjoy. It discusses the Stones influence on the Grateful Dead in very insightful ways.
Eric Levy: Red Roosters and Wild Horses: the Rarely Acknowledged Influence of the Rolling Stones on the
Grateful Dead

For New Riders style music, check out the Stones album Exile on Main Street, "Torn and Frayed" is a great song in the country rock tradition.

Panama Red - Peter Rowan's song "Panama Red" famously recorded by the New Riders on their 1973 album The Adventures of Panama Red was played regularly by Old and in the Way, a bluegrass band Garcia was in along with Peter Rowan during 1973 and 1974.  

The late great fiddle master Vassar Clements was a member of Old and In the Way. Vassar made a few guest appearances on stage with the New Riders. The Relix label release Live on Stage from 1975 has two tracks with Vassar.

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds

New Riders of the Purple Sage Links

NRPS.NET The official site. This was the first. There are more now which is a result of them reforming and renewed interest.
thenewriders.com I think this site is designed by the New Riders guitarist Michael Falzarano. 
NewRidersofthepurplesage.com Discography, photos, and other cool stuff.
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Where I Come From Audio CD
Track Listing
1 Where I Come From
2 Big Six
3 Barracuda Moon
4 Higher
5 Down The Middle
6 Them Old Minglewood Blues
7 Something In The Air Tonight
8 Olivia Rose
9 Blues Barrel
10 Ghost Train Blues
11 Carl Perkins Wears The Crown
12 Rockin' With Nona

Release Date: June 2, 2009 
Label: WOODSTOCK

New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Wanted: Live at Turkey Trot DVD
1 Lonesome La Cowboy
2 Sutter's Mill
3 Watcha' Gonna Do
4 Last Lonely Eagle
5 Rainbow
6 Portland Woman
7 One Too Many Stories
8 Henry
9 Sliding Delta
10 Lochinvar
11 Garden of Eden
12 I Don't Know You
13 Panama Red
 
The New Riders of the Purple Sage Circa 2006 captured live at Turkey Trot Acre.

Product Description

""Wanted: Live at Turkey Trot"" celebrates the first new album by The New Riders of the Purple Sage in over twenty-five years and that's mighty-fine 'cause this album truly captures the spirit and music of ""The Greatest Cosmic, Psychedelic Country Rock and Roll Band Of The Universe""! Get your hands on this 90 minute DVD that captures the current New Riders of the Purple Sage live at the Turkey Trot Acres from 2006. Includes the classics ""Henry,"" ""Garden Of Eden,"" ""Panama Red"" and many more. Also included with the DVD is a bonus audio CD of the concert. NRPS is back!!! 

Studio: FA-KA-WEE Productions, LLC 
DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007 

Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Live Archive releases:
The New Riders of the Purple Sage
Below are a few of the many New Riders of the Purple Sage archive releases. 
Live: Worcester, MA 4/4/73

W/ Keith Godchaux on piano

Live at Veneta, OR 8/27/1972 12/31/77 Winterland
 Disc: 1 
 1. I Don't Know You
  2. Lochinvar
  3. Rainbow
  4. It's Alright With Me
  5. Sailin'
  6. Whatcha Gonna Do
  7. California Day
  8. Linda
  9. Groupie
10. One Too Many Stories
11. Contract
12. Teardrops in My Eyes
13. Long Black Vail
14. You Ain't Woman Enough
15. Whiskey

Disc 2
  1. Dirty Business
  2. Down In The Boondocks
  3. Hello Mary Lou
  4. You Should Have Seen Me Runnin'
  5. Portland Woman
  6. Henry
  7. Glendale Train
  8. Last Lonely Eagle
  9. Louisiana Lady
10. Willie and the Hand Jive
  1. Dirty Business
  2. Down In The Boondocks
  3. Hello Mary Lou
  4. You Should Have Seen Me Runnin'
  5. Portland Woman
  6. Henry
  7. Glendale Train
  8. Last Lonely Eagle
  9. Louisiana Lady
10. Willie and the Hand Jive

Disc: 1 
1. Hello Mary Lou 
2. Little Old Lady 
3. Fifteen Days Under The Hood 
4. Love Has Strange Ways 
5. Henry 
6. Home Grown 
7. One Too Many Stories 
8. Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer 
9. Oh What A Night 
10. Little Miss Bad 

Disc: 2 
1. Jasper 
2. Louisiana Lady 
3. T For Texas 
4. Portland Woman 
5. Crooked Judge 
6. You Never Can Tell 
7. Glendale Train 
8. Dead Flowers 
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
Buddy Cage Interview ] NRPS Discography ] NRPS Live ] New  Riders Photos ]
New Riders of the Purple Sage - Reviews and recommendations - Discography Flying Burrito Brothers - The Byrds
 

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