The Rides, “Virtual World” from Pierced Arrow (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

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With the apparent demise of Crosby, Stills and Nash, each of the namesakes have been busy making new music on their own, and Stephen Stills’ own outlet of late has been a cross-generational collaboration with fellow fretmaster Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keys legend Barry Goldberg. The Rides, as these three go by, are poised to issue album #2 on May 6, 2016.

Pierced Arrow (429 Records) will come three years after their well-received Can’t Get Enough debut, which found all three proven commodities revitalized by the new partnership. Back then, we took note that “plenty of albums try for this kind of raw, first-take authenticity. But the Rides’ perfectly named Can’t Get Enough goes them one better with its jubilant sense of musical ambition.”

If their Pierced Arrow advance single “Virtual World” is any indication, this project is just achieving lift-off. Less blues-rock than it is the country-inflected soft rock that might have found a home on Stills’ early 70s endeavor Mannasas, “Virtual” has that prime Southern California easygoing vibe to it, and Stills vocal sounds like the same ol’ Stephen Stills who made those classic sides in the late 60s and throughout the 70s.

You won’t soon forget that there are two very good guitar players involved in this song, either; Shephard’s tasty blues licks in the mid-song instrumental are matched by Stills’ own at the tune’s outro. It exemplifies everything that’s right about the Rides: a comfortable confidence that can only come from stellar musicians with nothing left to prove.


Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
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