New Riders of the Purple Sage

Veneta, Oregon: August 27, 1972

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During 2003-2004, Kufala released several recordings by the New Riders of the Purple Sage. The closest model for these releases, perhaps, is the lengthy series of live releases by the Grateful Dead. By taking recordings like Veneta, Oregon out of the realm of bootlegs and making them available to the general public, Kufala has changed and deepened the historical place of the group. It's easy to listen to Veneta, for instance, and realize that the band had much more to offer than its studio performances from the era. While the New Riders were always much more straightforward in concert than the Dead, and thus lacked the jam band appeal, they were nonetheless a formidable force. And while they are often remembered for combining country and rock, they sound like a good old-fashioned rock band here, even on a country song like "Truck Drivin' Man." Specifically, David Nelson's guitar work and Buddy Cage's steel work add pizzazz to even the most mundane song, while Dave Torbert's bass adds infinite bottom end. For whatever reason, Veneta seems even tighter, more musically together, than previous releases. There's a really nice version of "Whatcha Gonna Do," and it's always fun to hear the band's take on oldies like "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud Loud Music)" and "Hello Mary Lou." For New Riders fans and anyone addicted to good live rock from the early '70s, Veneta, Oregon is a fun, dynamic recording.

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