The Long Ryders + The Hanging Stars, Gorilla, Manchester, 10 April 2019

It seems that nearly everyone you speak to arrived at this thing we call Americana via a different route. One area of commonality though, is that The Long Ryders were an important step on that journey, or indeed, for some, the beginning of it. For this reason, the band continue to be held in high regard and with great affection by their loyal fan base. The demographic of tonight’s audience suggests that the majority are long-standing fans. Long Ryder’s shows in recent years have been hugely enjoyable nostalgia trips. This year, there is a new dynamic; the band have released the excellent ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ album, to critical acclaim and no little commercial success (Sid Griffin took much delight in informing the audience that it had reached number one in the official UK Americana album chart). Continue reading “The Long Ryders + The Hanging Stars, Gorilla, Manchester, 10 April 2019”

The Long Ryders “Two Fisted Tales” (Cherry Red Records, 2018)

This is a great time to be an admirer of the Long Ryders – not only is the band back together but with this release the excellent series of expanded original albums is complete.   The third – and so far last – Long Ryders album was originally released in 1987, the torturous tale of the process from demoing through recording and then mishandled releasing of which is told by Sid Griffin in the glossy booklet accompanying this sumptuous re-issue. You can read that in detail when you pick up this three disc box-set. Suffice to say that the final part of the story – the wholehearted getting behind the album by the record company – didn’t go exactly to any kind of plan the band might have had in mind.  Continue reading “The Long Ryders “Two Fisted Tales” (Cherry Red Records, 2018)”

The Long Ryders “State Of Our Union” (Cherry Red Records, 2018)

The Long Ryders’ second album, the one that opens with the powerful ‘Looking for Lewis and Clarke‘, has been given the deluxe 3-disc box set treatment for this reissue on Cherry Red Records. It hardly seems worth saying that the original album is one of the finest ever releases in the genre that didn’t yet know it was called Americana. This is the holy water sprung from the sacred source. With songs like ‘Capturing the Flag‘, ‘Good Times Tomorrow, Hard Times Today‘, the arse-kicking ‘WDIA‘ and the rock and roll boogieing title track it sounds as fine today as it did in 1985. Continue reading “The Long Ryders “State Of Our Union” (Cherry Red Records, 2018)”

Long Ryders have new album next year, expanded old albums this year

We don’t deserve this, really we don’t.  The Long Ryders have just announced the release date for their new album ‘Psychedelic Country Soul‘ as the 15th of February 2019 – get that in your diaries.  It’s a collection of twelve songs – eleven of them Long Ryders originals and a cover of perhaps the greatest Tom Petty song of them all ‘Walls‘.  That’s open to debate – but we can all agree it’s certainly well in the top two or three. Continue reading “Long Ryders have new album next year, expanded old albums this year”

House Above The Sun “Five Hours North” (HATS Music, 2017)

HATS are a celebratory kind of a band; their music rings with the joy of making music, not the artistic struggle. The songs don’t sound like they were wrung from a tormented soul, more like they escaped like blissful bursts of inspiration. They’re an Americana band, blending most of the touchstones, corralling folk, blues, country and rock. Footsteps relies on acoustic guitar and harmonies to gain a foothold, gradually introducing the piano, electric guitars and drums with a relaxed easy charm that is infectious. Continue reading “House Above The Sun “Five Hours North” (HATS Music, 2017)”