About the Artist
In the summer of 1969, John Dawson was looking to showcase his songs while Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was looking to practice his brand new pedal steel guitar. The two played in coffeehouses and small clubs initially, and the music they made became the nucleus for the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Along with guitarist David Nelson and the rhythm section of Mickey Hart and Phil Lesh from the Dead, the New Riders played every chance they got. By 1970, Dave Torbert took over on bass, and soon enough, smoky clubs all over the San Francisco bay area were filling up with whooping, foot-stomping crowds as their music got tighter and more dynamic. Through extensive tours with the Dead, and the addition of Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden taking over for Hart and the talented Buddy Cage filling the pedal steel spot that Garcia had to vacate, the New Riders emerged as a fully independent unit. An excitingly creative band with a special brand of musicsweet! country harmonies mixed with pulsing rock rhythms. Throughout the 1970s, the New Riders recorded seven album for Columbia, of which their 1973 release, The Adventures of Panama Red, is probably their most widely known. They wound out the seventies recording 3 albums for MCA, going through a few more personnel changes, with Dawson carrying the NRPS torch throughout the 1980s and early 1990s until he retired to the hills of Mexico. The New Riders of the Purple Sage received a Lifetime Achievement Award from High Times magazine at their Doobie Awards in September, 2002 and performed a brief set at the festivities at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City.
Fresh on the heels of the October, 1972 release of their third album, Gypsy Cowboy, the New Riders of the Purple Sage embarked on an East Coast tour that would quickly solidify their reputation as Americas premier psychedelic-country-rock outfit. Pulling into the historic confines of Tremont Streets Boston Music Hall on a Tuesday night in December, the New Riders had their engines primed and delivered a powerful set of originals that included "Sutters Mill," "Groupie" and "Whiskey" from Gypsy Cowboy, and fan favorites "Truck Drivin Man," "Hello Mary Lou" and the stompin show closer "Willie And The Hand Jive." With Buddy Cage now firmly entrenched behind the pedal steel guitar and taking the band to a new sonic plane, you can feel the energy and excitement of the night come solidly through on NRPS staples "Whatcha Gonna Do," "Portland Woman," "Last Lonely Eagle," " Louisiana Lady," "Glendale Train" and "I Dont Know You." A rollicking version of Chuck Berrys "School Days" displays their passion for boogie, and the evenings encores consist of folk-rocker and opening act Eric Andersen joining in on the fun for a version of his "I Love To Sing My Ballads, Mama (But They Only Want To Hear Me Rock & Roll)" and the Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Women." Boston Music Hall 12/5/72 was produced directly off the master analog reel to reel recording and was mastered by Stephen Barncardwhos production credits include the first three NRPS albums and the Grateful Deads American Beauty.