New Riders of the Purple Sage
The Grateful Dead – New Riders of the Purple Sage – Marshall Tucker Band concert on September 3, 1977, is a special moment in the Dead’s legendary career. The largest concert in New Jersey history, it drew well over 100,000 fans to hear the Dead in spectacular form (and after a three-month break necessitated by Mickey Hart’s car accident and broken shoulder). Not just the Dead: as Mike Falzarano toured with the New Riders a few years later, most shows would include someone saying that they’d seen the Riders at Englishtown.
And what musical lives they’ve been! Nelson and Cage, both synonymous with many decades of NRPS’ psychedelicized countrified stylings, have entertained concert audiences and home listeners with many, many other bands – Nelson with the David Nelson Band, as well as Old & In the Way, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, The Good Old Boys, Dead Ringers, Al Rapone & the Zydeco Express, The Papermill Creek Rounders, and way back in the early 1960s with the Wildwood Boys bluegrass band alongside Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. Cage, in addition to his storied career with the NRPS, has delivered his trademark pedal steel guitar articulations with Great Speckled Bird, Stir Fried, Solar Circus, The Brooklyn Cowboys, Terry & the Pirates, and on substantial studio work with Bob Dylan and Anne Murray.
Ronnie Penque of The New Riders of the Purple Sage brings us his new project Panama Dead. Panama Dead is a tribute to the music of the classic New Riders of the Purple Sage. Panama Dead plays all the classic NRPS songs like Henry, Last Lonely Eagle, Glendale Train, Panama Red and many more. The band is: Ronnie Penque on bass guitar and lead vocals, Mike Flynn on lead guitar and vocals, Wayne Wilson on pedal steel guitar, Kevin Johnson on drums and Jeff Pearlman on keyboards and vocals.
In the past few years since Fare Thee Well, as Grateful Dead music has morphed into its own genre, what bands play and how they play it has become an interesting series of choices. Do they want to play it straight, or do they want to interpret it through a filter (heavy metal, Celtic, Bluegrass, Hawaiian slack key guitar, etc.)? Do they want to emphasize the material the band played when they first became Dead Heads, or do they want to sample around? Good argument-starter: Is the best year 1972, or 1977, or 1989? Or fill in the blank...
The new Arrowhead Ranch is moving forward with a scheduled reopening for next year in 2019. The Ranch is on-target to become the newest Catskills go-to destination for fun, live music and outdoor recreation. The Ranch is located on the site of the original Arrowhead Ranch, a couple of miles off of Route 17 in Parksville, Sullivan County, New York. This thoroughfare has a ton of history.
Few acts have served as large of a spectrum of music as New Riders of the Purple Sage. These psychedelic country-rock titans have been performing for nearly forty-five years with original members David Nelson (guitar, vocals) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel guitar) keeping the flame burning strong. The group began in 1970 when Jerry Garcia was transitioning the Grateful Dead into country and folk territory. Like most instruments he put his mind to, he took to the pedal steel guitar miraculously quick.
Nothing says Summer like surf and hot rod music, and on June 30 Real Gone Music is paying tribute to one of the greatest bands ever to come down the (turn)pike, Ronny and the Daytonas, with a 2-CD, 48-track set featuring four unreleased tracks and notes from “Ronny” himself! Being from Nashville, Ronny and the Daytonas tossed a little country twang into their surfin’ sound; our next artist, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, also turned country on its head by injecting an unapologetic hippie ethos into their country-rock sound.