Long Ryders State of our Reunion: Live 2004

Back in 1982, an era was born that took roots rock into newfound, mutinous territory, blending an allegiance to traditional country with the country rock of the Byrds and Burritos, and marrying it to the "couldn’t care less” passion of punk. The Long Ryders enjoyed a five-year run that, alongside the emergence of paisley underground stalwarts like Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade, broke critical ground without ever achieving critical mass. Pity. For those entranced by their too-short recorded career, this live reunion serves to supplement their ’04 Three Minute Warnings: Live In New York release (recorded in ’85). The difference is that Reunion celebrates a one-time homecoming — they toured the UK in ’04 — some 17 years after their split. Original members Sid Griffin, Steve McCarthy, Greg Stevens and Tom Stevens (’84) sound in remarkable form once the dust is blown from the cracks. The voices take some time falling into place but the dynamic duo of McCarthy and Griffin take hold three to four songs in, revisiting past glories in the form of "Gunslinger Man” and "Lights of Downtown,” while achieving a jaw-dropping time warp with "The Ballad Of Lewis & Clark.” A favourite era for many is reclaimed, rejuvenated and lovingly reinvigorated. Long live the Long Ryders. And long may they ride. (Prima)