New Riders of the Purple Sage

Who Are Those Guys?

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This is one of the slicker albums this long-running Grateful Dead spin-off band ever made. Whether this new-found aural sheen was the result of discipline imposed by veteran Nashville producer Bob Johnston or occasioned by the simple fact that in new bass player Stephen Love the band had also acquired a professional sounding vocalist, is unclear.

But in any case, there are tracks here--notably Love's "(Just) Another Night in Reno" that approach the smooth studio mastery of the Eagles. Long-time fans need not fret, however; the band's trademark stoner cowboy shtick is still on display on the very funny anti-L.A. diatribe "High Rollers," and the Bo Diddley-esque cannabis anthem "Home Grown."

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