The Long Ryders- Psychedelic Country Soul review

I am proud of this piece of writing. I don’t say that often. From Exclaim!, my review of The Long Ryders’ ‘comeback’ album: Glad to give a terrific album a national review!

(Review based on supplied download.)


I’ve been a fan of the band for a long time, but not as long as some. I don’t think I’ve reviewed them before–compilations and the like–but I have reviewed Sid Griffin’s projects and The Coal Porters.

Here is how my review would have started had I had the space in Exclaim!:

The Long Ryders released three albums of strong, near flawless country-rock during the 1980s. As the ‘buckskin’ element of the Paisley Underground, the California-based band burned out rather than fade away, equal parts Buffalo Springfield, The Kingsmen, and NRBQ.

Three albums (and one EP) released in the 80s, and somehow
— once the latest three-disc reissues arrive in the post—I have nineteen discs of their music on my shelf: more than one set of reissues already, as well as contemporaneous live sets, a reunion concert set, a well-measured compilation, a box set. I may have a bad habit when it comes to The Long Ryders.

However, when the band was releasing their albums, I missed them. Yes, I dug the ‘hit,’ “Looking for Lewis and Clark,” but I didn’t pursue their albums the way I did those of contemporaries The Rainmakers, Lone Justice, The Three O’Clock, or Jason & the Scorchers. It was only (much) after the fact, when Sid Griffin started releasing bluegrass as The Coal Porters did I revisit their catalogue, a process that continues to this day.

Because, thirty-two years after Two-Fisted Tales disappeared without trace, The Long Ryders—in their classic formation of Griffin, Stephen McCarthy, Tom Stevens, and Greg Sowders—are back!  

…with Psychedelic Country Soul, not only have The Long Ryders (finally) effectively named their musical oeuvre (jangle-rock,, roots rock, etc never quite sufficiently encompassed the band’s breadth) they have shown that they are well-equipped to again take a leading role in modern Americana.

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