The Long Ryders

Two-Fisted Tales

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This, Two Fisted Tales, the last album by the Long Ryders, pulls together all the various elements that had distinguished them from the rest of the jangly, '60s revisionist rock bands of the mid-'80s. The Long Ryders' sound was a unique blending of McGuinn-esque guitar figures with well-defined parameters that encompassed Gram Parsons' country-rock sensibilities and the various tenants of traditional roots rock. Highlights include the kickoff track, "Gunslinger Man," a powerful guitar assault that displays the band's ability to rock strong and hard. In contrast, "I Want You Bad," a Terry Adams-penned tune also covered by Dave Edmunds, is a melodic song of long-distance desire. Here the vocal quality is particularly expressive and fitting to the song's message. On the other hand, formative years in the South are reflected on Sid Griffin's "Harriet Tubman's Gonna Carry Me Home." The overall instrumentation -- which includes mandolin, autoharp, lap steel, and a guest accordion by David Hidalgo from Los Lobos -- reflects their allegiance to traditional Americana music. Unfortunately, Two Fisted Tales was to be the Long Ryders' swan song. However, in the '90s there are still those who recall the pioneering spirit of the Long Ryders. [In the mid-'90s a deluxe edition with four bonus tracks was issued by Griffin's label, Prima Records.]

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