Feature

The Rideswith support from Shannon McNally

April 12, 2017
8:00 pm

AEG Live presents The Rides with support from Shannon McNally Doors @ 7:00pm | Event @ 8:00pm Tickets: $39.75 - $55 Breaking more fresh new blues-rock ground than ever on their raucous and soulful new album Pierced Arrow, The Rides are letting their growing legion of fans know they're in this for the long haul. Their ongoing freewheeling journey is all there in the name. When they came up with that clever moniker for what Stephen Stills calls "the blues band of my dreams," the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, five time Grammy nominated guitar great Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Chicago rock/blues keyboardist Barry Goldberg knew it was more than just a one time, multi-generational fusion of legendary musical souls. They envisioned - and have since set out upon - a dynamic, wide open road ahead. The trio laid the simmering groundwork for all this by calling their debut album Can't Get Enough - because once they started writing, recording and jamming together, they couldn't. Just before its release, Stills said, "As good as I think The RIDES are now, we can't wait to get some live gigs under our belt." Goldberg echoed, "As proud as we are of the album, fans are going to see something even more exciting from us when we start playing these songs live." And they did. Those few wild months of touring the U.S. - combined with hitting the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, and a nomination for Best Rock Blues Album at the 2014 Blues Music Awards - sealed the deal. They were in it for the long haul. From NYC to Austin, rockin' L.A. and many other cities, their high-energy performances transcended individual star power to create a deep and rejuvenating chemistry, which in turn inspired them to reconvene not long after the tour was over to start work on songs that would collectively become Pierced Arrow. Onstage and in the studio, the groundwork for the trio's multi-dimensional creativity is laid by the explosive rhythm section bassist Kevin McCormick (a co-producer on Pierced Arrow) and Shepherd's long time drummer Chris Layton, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee himself, as a member of the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. Stills, who penned the era defining "For What It's Worth" with Buffalo Springfield before cementing his legend with Crosby, Stills & Nash, sums it up crisply: "We had so much fun playing on stage, we had to do it more. Lots of freedom. Kenny and I found a wonderfully exciting knack for playing lead at the same time without a real 'arrangement,' just sort of instinctive guessing, from watching each other's hands. Neil Young and I used to do this with Buffalo Springfield. And the grooves are always right on the money, never rushed or jittery." Shepherd, whose two decades of accolades include two Billboard Music Awards, two Orville H. Gibson Awards, the Blues Foundation's Keeping The Blues Alive Awards, two Blues Music Awards, six #1 blues albums and a recent tour with Van Halen, adds, "It's a pretty impressive group of musicians having a genuinely good time making raw, heartfelt music together. There are no egos. We're just in it for the music and we're having a ball. Because we're a new band and there's not this major history or big catalog to live up to, we can just go out and play and see where the moment takes us. For me, it's a liberating dynamic that's different from my live solo band because I'm sharing the vocals and guitar playing with Stephen. I love being part of a unit where everyone weighs in with thoughts and opinions." A formidable blues/rock force in his own right, Goldberg earned a Grammy nomination for producing and playing on Percy Sledge's Blue Night and has had his songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Joe Cocker, Steve Miller and Gram Parsons. Before the Rides, he toured with the Chicago Blues Reunion Band. As a teenager growing up in Chicago, he sat in with Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Howlin' Wolf. He's played with the greats - Hendrix, Duane Allman, Mike Bloomfield - but was in complete awe of the guitar interaction between Shepherd and Stills. "Playing with Stephen and Kenny Wayne brought me back to the high level of musicianship, experiencing intense and transformative electricity onstage," the keyboardist says. "The response to it from our audiences was incredible. Everyone got it. Their excitement was infectious. I've played with lots of great bluesmen in my day, but this was a more universal crowd responding to Kenny Wayne and Stephen. These guys are rock stars, and it was hard not to be inspired by the energy they were giving off." A passion for the blues isn't the only thing The Rides have in common. Stills and Shepherd, who first jammed together at a private party before the 2007 Super Bowl, share a mutual love of classic cars. In that light, it's not surprising that the title of their new album is a riff on the famed Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, a maker of luxury cars in the first four decades of the 20th Century. Stills knows his history and sees a unique parallel: "A lot of band musicians drove Pierce-Arrows back in the late 20s and 30s, either out to Long Island or to and from the trains. They were really roomy and you could fit several guys and their instruments, and tie stuff to the running board. The hood ornament (as depicted on the album cover) is cool looking. I find the lines of that model particularly appealing, clean and precise like a good five piece band." Event Parking Information Secure covered parking is offered to patrons at the One American Center parking garage. For additional parking information, please click here.