he Long Ryders were one of the main contributors of the 1980's Paisley Underground movement that attempted to synthesize the psychedelic musings of rock, country twangs and a punk rock ethos, which would eventually create what is now known as alternative-country. Despite the mighty task of combining such disparate genre elements, The Long Ryders were highly successful in the early 80's with their debut album Native Sons (1984) that featured former Byrds vocalist Gene Clark. After breaking up in 1987, The Long Ryders reunited for a massive gig at Glastonbury 2004 and continued to play other dates over the next decade. Although the Paisley Underground movement was short-lived, an appreciation for The Long Ryders' sound obviously remained which compelled them to make a new album, Psychedelic Country Soul (2019), and go on tour.
It was quite apparent that this band was not accustomed to playing such a small venue, especially one with dinner tables and candles, which elicited quips such as 'Try the Veal!' from frontman Sid Griffin. This sly humor made sense once their energetic set began and turned the fancy Space Evanston into an old-fashioned rock hall. Standing attendees bounced to tracks like 'All Aboard' which featured Griffin's grainy vocals and infectious guitar solos. It wasn't difficult to pick up on this band's chemistry considering they were switching instruments almost every other song. Griffin would take to the harmonica when Tom Stevens or Stephen McCarthy decided to belt out a track and at times Stevens would trade his Bass for McCarthy's guitar.
In their infancy The Long Ryders were critiqued for leaning too heavily on the influence of country and rock but now as the taste for instrumental music has become less nuanced with the rise of EDM and Hip Hop, what is left is a band that is keeping a part of music history alive. The various influences that have helped to make The Long Ryders are too many to name and at this point many are probably forgotten, which makes their new album's tour all the more enticing. Their new album 'Psychedelic Country Soul' is an echo of the past that speaks to the future with its production by Dr. Dre and its youthful energy. Check out the new album below and don't miss The Long Ryder's upcoming tour dates!