The Long Ryders – Native Sons (Rating 4.5 out of 5)
The Los Angeles based Long Ryders are one of those deliciously different, genre defying bands that seems to have influenced everyone from Wilco and Ryan Adams all the way to Dawes, The Drive By Truckers, and the Old 97’s, and their debut full length Native Sons serves to channel the best of the British Invasion, married to The Byrds, The Clash, and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
Formed and inspired by Sid Griffin who wasn’t even around for the recording of this album, with a reverence for Gram Parsons, the roots of Roots Rock are laid down early on “Sweet (Mental Revenge)” a song that could have been on any of those early day Cosmic Cowboy, Laurel Canyon albums, while “Still Get By” could have landed in New York City with The Beatles creating a vibe that is part Animals, Part Dave Clark Five, and All cool.
The ghost of Sweethearts of the Rodeo era Gram Parsons haunts “Ivory Tower,” a song that features ex Byrds member Gene Clark on guest vocals, all of which makes perfect sense given that band founder Griffin wrote the definitive biography of the gone too soon warbler, and the 12 string Rickenbackers are tuned up and turned on to 11 on this Post-Punk dusted scorcher of a tune.
It’s hard to imagine that artists the likes of Alejandro Escovedo, Rhett Miller, Chuck Prophet and Patterson Hood were not heavily influenced by this band in general and specifically this album. The colors sprinkled all over this canvas that cover The Clash, The Byrds, The Blasters (what came first the Long Ryders chicken or The Blasters Egg), and many other of the Coolest Bands in the World create a landscape worthy of The Masters. Just listen to “Wreck of the 908” and tell me I’m Wrong.
Put this one in your back pack and bring it to your desert island.