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The Long Ryders, Two Fisted Tales


This week's vinyl digitization is another roots rock finale, the Long Ryders' Two Fisted Tales. Like the Blasters, the Long Ryders didn't last long (three full-length LPs and one EP between 1983 and 1987), but to me they were an even more essential band. They really bridged the gap between early 1970s country/folk rock (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) and the early 1990s alt-country revival (Uncle Tupelo, Jayhawks), and their mix of Byrds jangle and garage rock sounds as fresh today as it did when it first came out, almost thirty years ago. My favorite here is "Spectacular Fall", but there really isn't a weak song on the entire album. I've been playing guitar since last September, and have been fiddling around with two Long Ryders songs, "Wreck of the 809" (from an earlier album) and "Spectacular Fall."

From the price sticker on the back of the LP, I'm reminded that is bought this (for $3.50) at Full Cyrkle Records in Crystal Lake, Illinois. After I moved home from college, I went to Full Cyrkle almost every Saturday morning, buying dozens of rock and blues albums with what little spare cash I could find. Once a year, the store even had a Midnight Madness sale - they stayed open all night, and the later you got there, the lower the prices were. I think I went there around 2:00 in the morning - I did buy something, but I don't remember what it was. Probably not this Long Ryders album - at $3.50, it was cheap enough to buy any time - but probably some new, imported blues LP that was probably too pricey for me otherwise. But ironically, I probably haven't listened to or even thought about that blues album in years, while Two Fisted Tales has stayed with me, enough to finally convert it to digital.

February 28, 2016 in Music | Permalink