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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 August 2013
A new Stephen Stills 'supergroup', modelled loosely on 1968's Bloomfield / Kooper / Stills Super Session, this one's a real generation-hopping affair with Stills and fellow veteran Barry (Electric Flag) Goldberg joined by fiery young bluesman and guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd on a spirited collection of both standards and new songs. Some interesting choices here, Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" and Iggy and The Stooges' "Search and Destroy" chief amongst them.

The four original and jointly-credited compositions more than hold their own in this company, including the rousing title track and the more reflective "Don't Want Lies", the latter a nostalgic nod back in style to Stills' Manassas days. And there's even a rumbustious and scarcely recognisable re-imagining of "Word Game" from his second solo album.

The passing years have weathered Stills' voice to the point where it now suits the largely rousing material perfectly. The guitar playing is a joy throughout as Stills and Shepherd trade licks with joyous abandon, with Goldberg's exhilarating keyboard work gluing the whole thing together beautifully.

Whilst there's nothing startlingly groundbreaking here, it's nonetheless a real masterclass in blues rock. Stills and Shepherd share lead vocals which gives the album an added freshness and vitality, and it's a hugely enjoyable listen from start to finish.

Whether this proves to have been an inspired one-off or whether there's more to come from this line-up remains to be seen, but for now this hits the spot very nicely indeed.
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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2014
As I have said many times over, I am a Kenny Wayne Shepherd fan through and through, so anything bearing his name is going to be something I will look out. As for Stephen Stills? Well I liked some of the early CSN and CSNY material but I can't say that Stephen Stills was the outstanding member of the band - so that when we come to an album containing the work of two such unlikely bedfellows, the result is either going to be Awful or it's going to be Great! And fortunately, this most definitely falls into the latter category.
Mr Stills most definitely has dropped his pitch somewhat and gone back to his roots, but his guitar was always a little "meandering". However, with Kenny in the studio pitching his fluid and muscular tones to the proceedings, Mr Stills has pulled his playing up by the bootstraps and turned in quite a performance!
Without a doubt, these two plus Mr Goldberg (and friends) had a lot of fun recording together and this comes across loud and clear throughout the playing time so that from the opening lines of "Roadhouse" through to the closing bars of "Word Game" we are treated to a tip top assembly of music that draws heavily on the blues although, it has to be said, that this is not strictly a blues album. What it is is musicians bridging a generation gap with their joy of making music together and putting it across in a way that their joy is infectious so that the listener will be drawn in and be pressing that repeat button over and over again!
If you like either artist, you'll definitely like this offering but for anyone else, then all I can tell you is that if you like grown up rock/blues played by people at the height of their powers then you just have to add this to your collection!
Without reservation, I commend this album to any music lover!
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on 28 August 2013
This album is far more than just a pleasant or unexpected surprise.It is quite simply the best thing that Stills has done in years,far better than "Man alive," and easily standing alongside his best solo classic albums.Stills loves the blues and it stands out a mile on this album.It is bright,alive and full of inventive guitar playing.Both Stills and Kenny show they are masters of the instrument.Listening to them play is simply witnessing a masterclass.It"s as though being with Kenny and Barry has pumped new life and energy in to both his playing and his vocals.Stills sounds alive,vibrant and a man living for the blues.I hope that the Rides are able to put out more material,both live and studio.Though i do feel their output will suffer due to Stills commitment to CSN/CSNY.This is a masterclass of a group of amazing musicians that we have been given the privilege to hear and enjoy.
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on 30 August 2013
With the exception of the first CSN album, Stills is usually at his best when not in the company of Crosby and Nash - his first three solo albums and the two Manassas albums providing the best evidence in support of this claim. This album is further evidence - a thoroughly enjoyable and consummately performed series of tracks on which Stills teams up with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg (collectively `The Rides'). The musicianship is outstanding, with Stills somewhere near his very best (why he only ranks 47th in the Rolling Stone Magazine 100 best guitarist list beggars belief - rendered all the more absurd by Neil Young being ranked 30 places higher). The weakest track is the Stooges composition `Search and Destroy' - which is rather bland generic US rock. The best tracks are those where Stills takes the vocal lead - including the rousing electric version of Word Game, which, although not better than the original acoustic version, is a terrific alternative. The Neil Young cover `Rocking in the Free World' is rather too close to the original (to the extent that Stills even plays lead in the style of Neil Young - another example of his penchant for mimicry best heard in the Suite Judy Blue Eyes guitar cadenza in the latest CNS live album, played in the style of George Harrison) to be of any especial interest. Let's hope Stills continues to perform with this level of skill and creativity (which he sadly lost somewhere in the mid-70s and has only recently regained) as a reminder of the elevated position he deserves to hold in the pantheon of rock greats.
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on 28 August 2013
only say that this is one of the best records I have heard lately, this is true music, I have been waiting for this since the day it was announced, an esplendid blues/rock work by stephen stills and his mates
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on 10 November 2014
The complete package all right !. Excellent mix of new songs and some covers. When I sampled the tracks I liked it straight away, My Purchase just Arrived and already having a few Kenny Wayne Shepherd albums, Knew it would be a good listen. Stephen Stills has excelled here well back into the groove, and Barry Goldberg great keyboards ,there's Kevin McCormack on Bass and Chris Layton drums. The whole album has a good feel throughout , and you can tell they enjoyed making this album. There's a good mixture of songs here, and an informative booklet with photos, and the bands views on each song. Stills vocals are Excellent The last track "Word game" was an old acoustic song he had kicking round but never recorded., so its been vamped up here' the other originals are co-Written between Stills, Shepherd and Goldberg. Its a great collaboration this, The lurching rocky opener "Roadhouse" sets the tone for the album,"Don't want lies" a tidy slower song, and " Cant get enough " are performed with real feel. There's a good variation on the covers A storming version of Neil Young's " Rocking in the free world", and Iggy Pops " Search and destroy". Muddy waters " honey bee" another great blues version. all in all you wont be disappointed with this album I could have easily listened to a lot more than 10 songs by The Rides yes an excellent album all round
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on 26 August 2013
Have waited to play this since placing my order back in June. It was certainly worth the wait as every song on the album is a delight. If it is the only album they record together then its a fantastic album to have as part of their individual recording histories.
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on 6 November 2013
This is the album many diehard Stephen Stills fans have wanted for a long time! Stills always had a touch for playing the blues, and he's been away from doing so for too long! If you like Stills, you'll love this album!
I just hope he lives up to the promise he made at the Crosby Stills & Nash show in Bournemouth last month, that he couldn't be in a blues band and not bring them to the UK! If he does, I'll be at the front of the queue for a ticket!
I'm not going to run through this album track by track, if you like Stills, and you like the blues, you'll find lots you will like on this album.
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on 5 September 2013
A truly wonderful album. Great rocking blues from the start played by talented musicians. They clearly gel and enjoy what they are doing. Some real toe tappers, 'Roadhouse' , 'Search and Destroy' and of course their version of Neil Young's ' Rockin' in the Free World' to name just three.
This is in my opinion Stephen Stills best outing since Manassas and the melodic 'Don't want lies' is one of his best ever performances. The energy and freshness throughout this album is outstanding. A message to 'The Rides' - please come to the UK!!!!
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on 30 August 2013
Stephen Stills is one of the great American songwriters & guitarists and his fading star can be traced to when he started diluting songwriting duties on his CBS debut with Donnie Dacus. Listening to this record leaves me wondering why on earth it's taken him so long to make this type of record especially when you listen to Black Queen & Go Back Home from 1970 - after the mid 70s he settled for the easy life solo or with CSN on the park bench. So it's great to hear Stills back on top form here. I'm not convinced we need another version of Rockin' In The Free World as it could never beat the original. Overall an interesting detour for Still before he returns to the umbrella of CSN.
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