a Signed Copy of "Where I Come From"
The New Riders of the Purple Sage have a storied past, but an even better present, and their first studio CD in twenty years, Where I Come From, is the living proof. Created to satisfy Jerry Garcia’s need to play pedal steel in combination with John Dawson’s songs, the band spent many years in high style cruising on David Nelson’s guitar and Buddy Cage’s steel. Signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis, they spent the next eleven years touring as they released 12 albums and sold 4 million records. And, as with all bands, eventually it lost momentum and went into mothballs.
In 2005, long-time Hot Tuna guitarist Michael Falzarano, with Ronnie Penque (bass) and Johnny Markowski (drums) joined Nelson and Cage and revived the Riders, and they began touring to a warm reception. But it was a genuine renaissance, which meant that the creative juices had begun to flow again – 12 new songs to add to the canon, including seven co-written by David Nelson and the esteemed Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. The title track, “Where I Come From,” “Big Six,” “Barracuda Moon,” “Down the Middle,” and “Ghost Train Blues” – in particular – show Hunter and Nelson working together in a way reminiscent of 1969-1970 era Hunter Garcia. Which, considering that the two played together with Garcia in a band in 1962, makes sense. It’s psychedelic Americana at its best. Throw in Falzarano’s “Carl Perkins Wears The Crown,” Johnny Markowski’s “Higher,” and Ronnie Penque’s “Olivia Rose,” along with the cover of the classic “Minglewood Blues,” and you’ve got the proof: The New Riders are back.
Said Buddy Cage: “Everything we’ve done together over these 38 years (!) has come to a sweet point with “Where I Come From”. The union of New Riders as we’ve come to know it with Nelson, Michael, Johnny and Ronnie playing the hell out of Hunter’s songs has completed the Circle for me.” Producer Michael Falzarano added, “Over the years I've been fortunate to work with many fantastic musicians on many projects but this one stands alone – from start to finish, we did it all on our own. We played live in the studio old school, five musicians in a room playing together, catching the energy as it happened. Most of the songs on the CD are first or second takes; no song was played more then three times. The Hunter/ Nelson tune “Barracuda Moon” is my favorite song on the CD. It's not only the first take, but the first time we ever played it. For me, magic happened on that take.”
The magic began a year ago, when David Nelson came home from a tour and discovered emails from Dead lyricist Robert Hunter – they first played together in 1962 – emails which turned out to be song lyrics. They kept on coming, and after a few, Hunter added, “It’s your turn.” That was all the inspiration Nelson needed; he got to work, and you can hear the results in “Where I Come From.” A magical full circle indeed.