The Rides: Pierced Arrow Review

Supertrio the Rides – Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg – return May 6 with Pierced Arrow, their first release since their debut album Can’t Get Enough tapped into Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2013. Like Can’t Get Enough, Pierced Arrow is a mixture of originals (like the Stills-penned single “Virtual World”) and covers (like the jaunty “My Babe,” written by Willie Dixon), all played with the technical skill one expects of three seasoned musicians. The biggest takeaway from Pierced Arrow is its unity: while some songs show evidence of each artist’s past projects (especially “Virtual World,” which is reminiscent of Stills’ work with Buffalo Springfield five decades ago), the album as a whole nods to the time the Rides spent touring, performing and writing together as a team.

As on Can’t Get Enough, Stills and Shepherd share vocal duties on Pierced Arrow. While Stills’ gentle vocals give depth to “Virtual World,” Shepherd goes for a faster rock approach on the early number “Riva Diva.” Pierced Arrow keeps pace nicely: “Virtual World” is introduced once the album’s initial speed wears off and is followed by the Stills-Shepherd duet “By My Side,” a track notable as much for the haunting guitar opening as for its heartfelt lyrics of pain and hope. The album continues in this way as ballads counterbalance the rockers, coming to a final close with “My Babe,” a spirited tribute to the legendary blues songwriter Willie Dixon that leaves listeners on an upbeat note.

The deft fingerpicking on “By My Side” is one of several moments that stand out on Pierced Arrow. One of the ways in which the Rides evolved since Can’t Get Enough lies in the musician interactions. Stills and Shepherd play off each other, creating the illusion that one guitarist is seamlessly performing the work of two. The call and response of the vocals in “I Need Your Lovin’” further evidences the bond these musicians have created since starting the group: they sound like they’re having fun, and as a result, the music is fun to listen to. Though Goldberg maintains a muted presence for much of Pierced Arrow, his solo in “My Babe” complements the bouncy tempo and brings a fun old-timey energy to the song.

Pierced Arrow is slated for a May 8 release on 429 Records and features bassist Kevin McCormick and drummer Chris Layton, who co-produced the album with the Rides. The band plans to begin touring the United States in support of the album on May 2.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Riva Diva
– Virtual World
– By My Side
– My Babe

The Big Hit

– Virtual World

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon

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One Response to “The Rides: Pierced Arrow Review”

  1. Gerri says:

    Pane jo, to je kniha zivota. Jenze na druhe strane si predstav, ze bys zila v zemi kde vsechno funguje, nebo pokud ledasco a mnohe srovname tak je absolutne easy. Coz je zase nuda jako prase.Tak jsem si aspon timhle poctenim uzil urcity vzruso, usmal se a zanzvomipal …Pekne!At se dari!

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