The Rides

Pierced Arrow

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Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Barry Goldberg had enough fun with Can't Get Enough, their first album as the Rides, that they decided to knock out another one three years later. Called Pierced Arrow, the album is pretty similar to the 2013 debut. The two singer/guitarists duel with their six strings and trade off songs, allowing covers like Willie Dixon's classic "My Babe" into the mix. Stills still favors elastic structures graced by folky harmonies, a technique that doesn't feel strictly blues, but provides a nice counterpart to the straight-ahead Shepherd, who continues to favor 12-bar blues. This split echoes in the leads the two trade off: Stills winds his way around the fretboard while Shepherd spits out leads. Ultimately, it's this guitar interplay that's the attribute of Pierced Arrow. Some of the songs stick out -- particularly, Stills' two attempts at social commentary, "Virtual World" and "Mr. Policeman," both of which would've fit on a CSN LP -- but this is a record about instrumental interplay, not about songs.

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