Photo: Eleanor StillsThe Rides, Stephen Stills' new blues-rock supergroup, releases its debut album, Can't Get Enough, today. The record sees the folk-rock legend joining forces with guitar whiz Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Electric Flag keyboardist Barry Goldberg for an eclectic mix of original compositions, classic blues tunes and an interesting selection of modern cover songs.
The initial inspiration for Can't Get Enough was the 1968 Super Session album, a quickly recorded collection of mostly improvisational jams that featured founding Blood, Sweat and Tears singer/keyboardist Al Kooper teaming up with either Stills or late Electric Flag guitarist Michael Bloomfield. However, Goldberg, who also contributed to Super Session, says the new project quickly transcended its original concept.
"When I first started writing [new songs] with Stephen, I had no idea what the concept was going to be like," he explains to ABC News Radio. "It was a Super Session thing but, no, it wasn't really."
Goldberg adds that the addition of Shepherd brought things to a different level, and the sessions signaled the formation a new group.
"Kenny came along and just put his stamp on it, and…the chemistry was so great and so smooth, and we all had such a good time, it became the nucleus of a band," he notes. "Not a 'super' anything…It's a real band of guys that really dig playing together."
Adds Stills, "We challenge each other and encourage each other."
Stephen also showers praise on the 36-year-old Shepherd for bringing some youthful energy to the collective, while Kenny says he feels similarly inspired getting to work with Stills and Goldberg.
"I think the whole experience for all of us has been energizing," he explains to ABC News Radio. As much as they want to say that I energized them…it's the same for me…The whole thing has just been fun, and I anticipate that the fun will continue."
The fun really is just getting started for The Rides, who kick off their first tour this week with a pair of shows at the New York City club The Iridium on Wednesday and Thursday.
Asked how he feels about The Rides hitting the stage for the first time, Stills says, "About halfway through the first song, the butterflies will be gone and, I tell you what, we're gonna throw down."
As for what fans can expect to hear at the group's shows, Stephen reports that in addition to tunes from Can't Get Enough, The Rides will be playing "various things from our past, [starting] with some of the more obvious things," as well as "some surprises."
And while The Rides' album has just become available, Stills promises that there will be more new music to come.
"This is not a one-shot, one-off thing," he tells ABC News Radio. "We're gonna write more original material and have really good covers every time. You know, it's a dream come true and a breath of fresh air."
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