The Rides - 'Pierced Arrow'

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The Rides - 'Pierced Arrow'

A fine Blues/Rock album worthy of anyone's collection.

It seems the norm now for musicians to have additional bands/projects which they can venture into on their time off from the "usual" job and The Rides is no exception. Stephen Stills (of Crosby Stills & Nash fame) has teamed up with guitar maestro Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboardist Barry Goldberg. Goldberg has played with the likes of Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Howlin' Wolf so clearly knows the Blues. 'Pierced Arrow' is the follow-up to their 2014 album 'Can't Get Enough'.

Clearly with the likes of these three gents involved, it's unlikely you are going to get substandard product and that is the case. 'Pierced Arrow' contains ten tracks from out and out Rockers to soulful ballads plus a couple of well-chosen covers. Vocals on the album are split between Stills and Shepherd.

'Kick Out Of It' opens proceedings and could easily be a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition; a pure Bluesy Rocker with a nice, dirty edge to it. There's a feel to it that suggests it may have been recorded, more or less, live in the studio. Well done but not too clinical. The second track 'Riva Diva' is much along the same lines, albeit in this case more reminiscent of Chuck Berry.

'Virtual World' is a reflective ballad with Shepherd and Stills dueting throughout, a la CSN, and is a song lyrically designed to make the listener take a look at themselves and the life/lives we currently lead. Another atmospheric tune in 'By My Side' follows before we riff up again for 'Mr Policeman'.
'I've Got To Use My Imagination' is the first of two covers on the album. This was a hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips and was written by Goldberg and the late Gerry Goffin. It was also recorded by Bobby Bland (Whitesnake fans might know of him) and it's the Bland version (slower) they have selected as the basis of the cover.

'Game On' and 'I Need Your Lovin'' pick the pace right up before we get to the soulful 'There Was A Place'. Finishing off with a cover of Willie Dixon's 'My Babe', a song that is the complete opposite of the usual "my baby left me" Blues lines as it puts women in a positive light. Overall, a fine Blues/Rock album worthy of anyone's collection.

Steve Price

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