The Long Ryders
Nov 30, 2108 saw the release of two box sets containing three CDs each. One was for their 1985 classic LP, State Of Our Union, and the other was for their 1987 LP, Two Fisted Tales.
And February 15, 2019 is the release date of the first new studio album from the Long Ryders in thirty years, Psychedelic Country Soul. Produced by the band’s dear chum Ed Stasium (Ramones, Jeff Healey Band, The Smithereens) it is the best record they have ever made and it has all the hallmarks of the band who kick-started Alt-Country and Americana.
Like their peers in the Los Angeles Paisley Underground movement of the ’80s, the band swore allegiance to the sounds of the ’60s, but the Long Ryders were influenced by the roots-centric approach of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buffalo Springfield. The Long Ryders were a major influence on the alt-country movement which rose up a few years after the band split at Christmas 1987.
In late 2015, Cherry Red Records released a Long Ryders box set, Final Wild Songs, which included 10-5-60, Native Sons, State of Our Reunion, and Two-Fisted Tales in full, along with rare and unreleased tracks and a 1985 live concert. It was received five star reviews worldwide.
In 2019 the Long Ryders will be playing dates in the U.K. and Europe in April, a USA tour in September, and further European dates in October/November, all in support of their new studio album, Psychedelic Country Soul (on Cherry Red Records in Europe, on Omnivore in the USA).
There are no two voices of the calibre of Anne Gilpin and Robert ‘Hacker’ Jessett that couldn’t be less alike, or fit more perfectly. This vocal pairing forms the nucleus of cult legends Morton Valence, who have been around since the mid 2000s ploughing an idiosyncratic and extraordinary musical path, producing six highly original and critically acclaimed albums along the way.
Taking liberties with a variety of musical styles, effortlessly blending vocal harmony, lyrical poignancy, and narratives that draw on life in their own backyard of London, put through a filter of alt-country, folk and rock n roll, creating a hybrid they term Urban Country.
Their album, ‘Bob & Veronica’s Great Escape’, out on Bastard Recordings, has received fantastic reviews, including 4 stars in Mojo Magazine.
Now in its fifth year, River Town brings the music of America’s heartland to the south west in a summer celebration of roots and Americana music. With a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, 2019’s series is packed full of performances from global icons and rising stars.
In 2019 the River Town series takes place at venues across Bristol including St George’s
Bristol, The O2 Academy, SWX, The Winston Theatre at Bristol University SU and The Crofters Rights,
and also makes its first foray into Bath with two performances at The Forum. With artists including k.d. lang, Lucinda Williams, The Shires, The Mavericks, Keb’ Mo’ and Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton, it’s the most ambitious programme yet.
River Town began in 2015 under the banner of Bristol Americana Weekend and under a co-producing partnership between Colston Hall and St George’s Bristol presented Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Larkin Poe, Police Dog Hogan, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham and many more outstanding artists of American roots music.
The festival returned after wide-spread acclaim in 2016 to feature Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the now internationally famous The White Buffalo.
In 2017 we launched the festival for a third year under the new name of River Town and showcased some of the finest blues, gospel, country and bluegrass, from across the pond and closer to home in Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and for the first time in O2 Academy. Three UK greats – Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe and Andy Fairweather Low – joined forces in a rare trio performance that celebrated their shared love of American R&B, soul and country. The compelling singer songwriter Martha Wainwright performed along with R&B powerhouse, gospel legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples. Plus performances by duo The Shires with crossover stars Ward Thomas brought country-pop to Bristol.
In 2018 the festival expanded across the city as part of our Colston Hall Presents programme, showcasing events taking place in venues across Bristol during the Hall’s Transformation project. In it’s fourth iteration River Town’s line-up featured music icons
Graham Nash and Rosanne Cash alongside The Barr Brothers, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The White Buffalo.