slides: The Rides at Lupo’s
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Related Slideshow: The Rides at Lupo’s
The Rides, a new band led by legendary musician Stephen Stills, cruised into Providence earlier this week. The band is a bona fide supergroup, made up of two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stills, guitar extraordinaire Kenny Wayne Shepard, and legendary keyboardist Barry Goldberg. It was top notch rock show, with a spirited crowd, and a group of artists on top of their game.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
All three are well known stars, although they come from slightly different musical circumstances. Stills made his name with groundbreaking band Buffalo Springfield, Shepard is a former wonderkid Blues guitarist who wails with the best of them, and Barry Goldberg is a keyboardist who’s played with just about everybody including a totally uneventful show with Bob Dylan at Newport 51 summers ago, (the actual gig when the Bard "went electric.")
Stills and Shepherd
The show included several from their new album Pierced Arrow as well as a couple from their 2013 debut Can’t Get Enough, a release that was nominated for Best Rock Blues album at the 2014 Blues Music Awards. They opened with “Kick Out of It,” featuring Stills front and center. Suffice to say, the man can still rock. Next up was “Riva Diva,” with Shepherd on lead, followed by a vintage sounding “Roadhouse” which featured a blistering Kenny Wayne solo.
The full band includes 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 Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughn’s fabled back-up band. Goldberg showed his chops on keyboards all night long. In a career that began in Chicago accompanying the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, he’s played with artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen, the Ramones and Percy Sledge.
It was a Blues-Rock show, with the occasional Stills ballad, and although his voice is not quite as strong as it used to be, it’s still great to hear him live in a small setting. There’s no doubt that Stills is the leader, although Shepard (his "little broother") steals the show with his guitar finesse. The band was tight all night long, as if they’d been playing together for many years.
The two guitarists traded solos on a scorching version of the Gladys Night and the Pips tune "I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” a song included on the new album. Shepherd then took charge on the Willie Dixon blues standard “My Babe,” first released in 1955.
The band rocked hard on a couple more covers including the Elmore James classic “Talk to Me Baby” and the unlikely “Search and Destroy,” a deep cut from Iggy and the Stooges. “Search” had a real punk feel and you could tell tell Stills was enjoying himself. Both songs were show highlights that we can pretty much guarantee you won’t hear at a CSN concert.
Love the One You're With
The final song of the main set was Stills’ FM radio classic “Love the One Your With,” inspired by years of playing. It seemed an appropriate theme for the evening – you’re here to see a new band, full of fresh ideas, in case you expected something different or more familiar. The audience relished the half speed blues version, full of just as much passion as the original.
The final message of the evening was the Neil Young penned classic “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The song rings with that undeniable Rock and Roll message of rebellion, one that Stills has practiced throughout his career. Listening to the tune at Lupo's has extra meaning, as we remember that Young once wore a vintage Lupo's t-shirt on a legendary Saturday Night Live performance of the song in 1988.