The Long Ryders – September November (Cherry Red)

The Long Ryders – September November (Cherry Red)

These days, The Long Ryders are a 3 piece outfit, following the passing of Bassist Tom Stevens in 2021. This latest offering, their fifth studio album follows the excellent 2019 release ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ which they reassembled for after a break of over 30 years. It’s greyer, beardier and worldlier .

Recorded in California throughout July ‘22 and produced by old friend Ed Stasium, these days the lazy Byrds or Flying Burrito comparisons of the 80s give way to a more countrified sounding unit. Yes, they still rock. Still have the licks and lyrics, with an added violin here, keyboards there. It’s good to see them back.

Elmer Gantry is Alive and Well’ is a potential set-opener. This could well reflect on recent events. Which the rogue himself may have found a ‘hard-sell’.

September, November Sometime’ starts this offering well enough, driving along like a runaway pickup on a dusty road. ‘That’s What They Say About Love’ wouldn’t be out of place almost as a disguised McCartney type song on The White Album. There’s a sentimental and poignant moment for the aforementioned Stevens on ‘Tom Tom’ co-written by the band and producer and it provides a melodic tribute to their friend: “Tom Tom the bottom end is gone.”

There is still room for him on the album, writing and playing on the album closer ‘Flying Out of London in the Rain’ about the rigours of touring and missing the loved ones left behind.

I was always an admirer of the band. All five albums have some great merits. Seeing them grace these shores again would be a fine thing indeed. Certainly in Native Sons and State Of Our Union they produced a couple of 80s classics . Two Fisted Tales, their third, never sold like it should have, which was hard to understand, seeing as it could boast gems like ‘Gunslinger Man’ amongst its jewels.

This is a good old fashioned car CD. One where you could imagine the pines of Northern California outside, whilst actually being stuck in roadworks in the rain.

If you like high quality song writing, and great playing without gimmicks, then this is a good place to park the camper.

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September November is released on 10th March through Cherry Red.

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