& Barry Goldberg
The Rides Get Rolling In Englewood
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch
The Rides rolled into the bergenPAC fueled on old school blues. On September 3, 2013 Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg aka The Rides performed at the bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey.
The Rides take the stage at the bergenPAC.
It was a mutual love of cars and the blues that brought this cross generation of talented players together. In a short period of time The Rides had built their debut record entitled Can't Get Enough. The ten-track CD is a hybrid of originals and covers including Muddy Waters' "Honey Bee", Elmore James' "Talk To Me Baby" and the surprising "Search and Destroy" from The Stooges.
"The blues band of my dreams," states Stills about the grouping. Stephen further explained that The Rides are the spirit of simple raw authentic 40's and 50's blues. The Rides will be taking this model of music on the road from late August through September of 2013. The bergenPAC was on their itinerary for the first Tuesday in September.
The Rides stuck to the map of the album with Stills and Shepherd taking turns on lead guitar and vocals. They played the majority of Can't Get Enough with guitar duets being a big part of the show. Yet, Barry Goldberg on keys was not overpowered. His notes and nuances were high in the mixes and the rhythm team of Chris Layton (drums) and Kevin McCormick (bass) kept the band on track.
Stephen's vocals were rough in spots but worked in the context of the blues. However, Still's guitar solos were strong throughout the evening. KWS who usually has a lead singer in his band stepped up and showed that he is not only an apt axe man but can be a front man, too. One of the highlights of the concert was Kenny blazing on guitar and vocals for the speedy "Search and Destroy".
There was a lot of incendiary interplay between the group's two renowned guitarists.
The title track from the record blended bold rhythms with fine fret from both Stills and Shepherd with it all passionately punctuated by Barry on keys. The Rides version of "Honey Bee" was sultry capturing the essence of old school blues.
As they moved through the record The Rides also "dipped into each others catalogues". The first was "I've Got to Use My Imagination" which was written by Barry. It was a number one hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips in the early 1970's. The Rides put their own special spin on the classic adding extra riffs and rhythms to the journey.
Stephen jested about how certain songs follow him as they flowed into "Love the One Your With". Goldberg on keys along with extra guitar licks took the familiar tune on different twists and turns. Kenny's "Blue on Black" also shifted gears from the original thus making it a unique cover from The Rides.
The Rides brought an authentic taste of Chicago style blues to New Jersey.
Rounding into the home stretch, KWS mentioned that Elmore James was one of his biggest heroes. The Rides paid tribute to EJ with "Talk To Me Baby". Kenny described it as a Chicago blues shuffle. The band expanded the instrumentation to make it even more interesting.
The Rides encore was edgy and perhaps a statement. "For What It's Worth" by The Buffalo Springfield questions authority and was relevant this first week in September as America is currently in a debate about involvement in another war. It was followed by Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin In The Free World" an angry anthem about the USA, thus, ending The Rides concert on a high octane note.
Speaking of high octane, opening for The Rides was Beth Hart. Beth is an American singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California who was a rising star upon the release of her second album Screamin' for My Supper (1999) and a tune called "LA Song (Out of This Town)" but substance abuse detoured Hart's career.
Now, Beth is back better than ever. She is aggressively touring through 2014 in support of her latest album Bang Bang Boom Boom (2013). Beth states that some of her past records were hard rocking, whereas this one draws from an assortment of influences. These tunes are about her experiences running the range from ballads, blues, jazz and rock.
Beth's first two songs were potent demonstrating her power visually and vocally. Hart stalked the stage clad in dark colors sporting ink-she was thrilling as she and her tight band rocked the house. Switching speeds Hart moved to the keyboards sharing that she was a big fan of Tom Waits. Beth beautifully covered Tom's "Chocolate Jesus" giving it a bold blues feel.
The Beth Hart Band was dynamic and compelling during their way too short opening slot.
Sticking with the soulful vibe she played "With You Everyday" penned for her supportive husband Scott commenting that "life is hard but also incredibly wonderful". Beth also mentioned that she attended a conservative church when she was young but one day she stumbled upon a Baptist service. "Spirit of God" captured the excitement and energy of that moment. The rocking revival flowed into the beguiling "Bang Bang Boom Boom".
Hart closed her stellar show with "My California" an expressive song filled with imagery. Beth Hart was commanding in both her reflective and rocking roles. Beth and her talented team received a standing ovation as they departed.
The bergenPAC continues to showcase a wide range of bands such as The Rides and Beth Hart. The theater is centrally located in downtown Englewood amongst restaurants and shops. Upcoming events at the bergenPAC include Hinder & Candlebox, The Waterboys, Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, Jungle Jack Hanna, The Amazing Kreskin, Lisa Marie Presley, A Fall Rock & Roll, Diana Krall, Cyndi Lauper and Styx .
The Rides: Stephen Stills - guitar, vocals; Kenny Wayne Shepherd - guitar, vocals; Barry Goldberg - keyboards, vocals; Chris Layton - drums; Kevin McCormick - bass
The Beth Hart Band: Beth Hart - vocals, keyboards; Bob Marinelli - bass; Bill Ransom - drums; Jon Nichols - guitar; PJ Barth - guitar
The Beth Hart Band on stage in Englewood, New Jersey.
(Originally Published on September 06, 2013)
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