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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2013
There are no ifs, ands or buts about this disc, this continues the trajectory Stills has been on since 2005's Man Alive. That disc signaled Stills had recovered his voice, his creativity as a guitar player and his prowess as a songwriter. Live at Shepherd's Bush documented a man in full control of all of his amazing powers. Add to that this intrepid blues/rock work out and you have a man not just playing to his strengths but enhancing them.
Lord knows what all the backstage dramas are involved with getting a beast like CSN or worse, CSNY, out of its cave, and there were horrific rumours of them doing a covers album (no one needs Stills or Crosby wimping out a la Peter Gabriel, and Croz is about to cut loose again anyway), but at some point, Stills must have decided he owed it to himself first to see what was in the tank.
There's plenty. He sounds great, he plays even better than he has of late. Jerry Harrison has done a terrific job on the production. And in Kenny Wayne Shephard, Barry Goldberg on keys and the former SRV rhythm section of Chris Layton on drums and Tommy Shannon on bass, this is a band on fire, tapping the source and not letting it go. Because he isn't trying to be all things that Stills can be to all people, but has focused his energy in a direction in which he excels, Stills is simply a master at the top of his game. There isn't a weak track on the record. Shepherd is a brilliant partner to Stills, as is Goldberg and the rest of the band, but The Rides got them one driver and he has let this engine roar. There are a number of covers that are among the best renditions of the songs ever, notably Honey Bee, Rockin in the Free World (Young should only ever allow Emmylou Harris and Stills to cover him as they do a better job with his tunes than Young does), and a little number called That's a Pretty Good Love, based on a melody without words by that 19th Century European boogie-woogie master Fred Mendelsohn (used to know a Chinese pianist wot could squeeze the funk out of those tunes). The collaborative originals are brilliant and Stills and colleagues reconsider his Word Game to impressive effect. A timely tune that, with all this Republican obstructionism clogging the arteries of America.
Can't get Enough? Not by half. Keep it coming, Stephen. Man alive, this and Buddy Guy's Rhythm and Blues are about as good as real music is gonna get this year.
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on September 5, 2013
A few things about me:

1. I never review stuff on amazon.com.
2. I am old enough to have seen Jimi Hendrix live before he died.
3. I have heard a LOT of music.

That out of the way, this is one of the best records I have heard in a long, long time. With few exceptions, most of the stuff being released these days is dreck. The Rides are the real thing on the other hand. I just wish it was longer. Buy without fear and enjoy.
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on September 6, 2013
A fine collaboration of artists representing decades of musical accomplishments. Seems like only yesterday that Kenney Wayne and Johnny Lang were the new young guitar slingers on the block. Stills career is as varied and fascinating as anybody else's in the music industry. Goldberg flew the Electric Flag, co-wrote "I've Got To Use (My Imagination") and learned (literally) at the feet of the original Chicago blues masters. There are so many good things on this set and even a few great moments but I do have one complaint and it has nothing to do with the quality of these songs. I purchased the CD release from Amazon then afterward discovered that BEST BUY was selling an exclusive CD/DVD with 3 bonus songs ("High Voltage", an edit of "Honey Bee", and an acoustic version of "Don't Want Lies") . I must say the BEST BUY bonus versions of "Don't Want Lies" along with the instrumental "High Voltage" are worth the extra cash on their own. Two years ago Stills contributed a song "Low Barefoot Tolerance" to the soundtrack release of a documentary entitled "Wretches And Jabberers" dealing with children afflicted with autism. You can hear when an artist transcends from just entertaining to creating something personal and meaningful. "Low Barefoot Tolerance" is such a song and this acoustic version of "Don't Want Lies" is the other side of that same coin. Stills has always been reticent from revealing what goes on in his personal life but here he offers a glimpse,and truth be told this bonus cut should have been included on the regular release. It's Stills at his best and easily stands up with any other songs in his catalogue. Kudos to Goldberg and KWS who along with Stills have created a work of art that they can be proud of. But if you want the best, purchase the BEST BUY release.
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on August 27, 2013
A beautiful collaboration between the legendary Stephen Stills, younger blues man Kenny Wayne Shepherd and veteran keyboard player Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag). Originally marketed as a tribute to the famed "Super Session" (where both Stills and Goldberg participated) but actually it's more a fine, competent blues-rock album with not that much real jamming.

The repertoire is vast spanning from Muddy Waters to Iggy Pop plus a few newly written songs. And some poignant political statements - certainly worth repeating and more actual than ever - in the form of "Rockin' In The Free World" and Stills' "Word Game".

As expected the musicianship is beyond reproach although rarely cathing fire. Sheperd is definitely a fine blues musician. But it's the tracks where Stills steps to the mic and lets his gruffy voice and inspired guitar loose that the album lifts up in a higher stratosphere.

Always nice to hear from Stills but The Rides will probably mostly be seen as a footnote to the ongiong legacy of CSN(Y).
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on September 17, 2013
I love every single song that is on this album. This album brings back a lot of great memories. I listen to this most mornings on my way to work.
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on February 27, 2014
I hope this isn't just a super group that gets together for one album. This should have be nominated for a Grammy. The blend of Kenny Wayne and Stephen Stills is just amazing, I give 10 stars of it was available.
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on September 23, 2013
The Rides are awesome and this album validates that Stephen Stills is a national treasure!!! We of the sixties generation were blessed to live in a time when so much great music was being made. This recording is one of SS best in many years that highlights his talents as a blues man. I love CSN, but it is so cool to have Stills just let loose with Kenny Wayne Shepard and Barry Goldberg. Please purchase this album and you will not be disappointed.
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on January 5, 2014
Some have compared this album to the 1968 'Super Sessions' recording that Stephen Stills participated in with Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper. I wouldn't go that far; this isn't a bad album if you're a fan of Stills & Kenny Wayne Sheppard; but there is nothing groundbreaking here. This is a well played, listenable album of Blues/Rock songs.
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on September 16, 2013
A great album both artistically and in song variety--songs written by Neil Young during CSN&Y days, Elmore James, & even Iggy Pop! Amazon delivered right on release day, as promissed when I advance ordered
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on September 5, 2013
Stills, Goldberg and Kenny Wayne, I felt that it would be magic but believe me I was floored at the interplay between the old and young guns. Goldberg and Stills kept setting them up and Kenny kept knocking them down.

On this enjoyable debut, they throw down eight shades of the blues, with a sprinkling of a Neil Young classic, "Rocking in the Free World", Iggy Pop and the Stooges smash "Search And Destroy." and a Muddy Waters cover for good measure.

Great beer hall blues, rollicking piano and two great guitarists slashing back and forth. "Muddy Waters' buzzing "Honey Bee," Elmore James' flirty "Talk to Me Baby)with Kenny on vocals and a few blues-tinged originals."

Kenny takes the lead on a saucy version of Big Maybelle's 1956 hit "That's a Pretty Good Love" and the Stills-fronted "Don't Want Lies," follows, Oh so sweet.

Goldberg, the classic Chicago Bluesman, (electric Flag) never misses a note and acts as the glue that holds fast this amazing trio.

Credit is also due to the core provided by bassist Kevin McCormick lately of Crosby, Stills and Nash and former Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton.

The Rides live up to the hype, not in a super-group kind of way, just three class acts paying homage to the days of old. Still's rough edge vocals shine, definitely 100% input by the veteran rocker.

The young gun Kenny doesn't shy away from the legendary status of his bandmates, and the veteran duo aren't intimidated by the flash of the young blood. All three are dedicated to their craft and it definitely shows in the outcome.

This is a top notch project, let's hope that this team "rides" the wave with many more future offerings.
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