The Rides Roar To Life

The intergenerational blues-rock amalgamation of guitar heroes Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldberg is an event worthy of our accolades. Their debut offering, Can’t Get Enough, is a delicious gritty and soulful guitarfest. The production and performances are top notch. Everything sounds crisp, but at the same time authentic. This is hands down Stephen Stills’ best work since CSN’s underappreciated 1994 release, After The Storm. He sounds inspired trading guitar licks and sharing vocal duties with the much younger, but highly skilled Shepherd. Even though age has worn down Stills’ voice, his vocals have the most character. The hoarseness adds veracity to music that Shepherd’s youthful voice lacks.

Can’t Get Enough is well paced, easily shifting from fiery rockers to slow-burning blues numbers. The set is made up of half covers and half strong originals such as, “Roadhouse”, “Only Teardrops Fall” and the title track. The solos on “Roadhouse” are an exciting way to open the album and set the mood. The Rides push themselves and boldly cover the Stooges’ “Search And Destroy” doing a Rolling Stonesish arrangement, and though not surpassing the original, that they pull off respectably. The band also explore Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.” After several CSNY reunion tours, Stills’ must have been itching to sing lead on this one. The group also revisits an originally acoustic track off of Stephen Stills 2 with “Word Game”. This new version is full on electric and rocks. All in all, Can’t Get Enough is promising and enjoyable enough to hope that these guys keep playing together. Don’t overlook this album!

Essential tracks: “Roadhouse”, “Search and Destroy”, & “Word Game”

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