Critical Voices: The Rides, Can’t Get Enough

August 29, 2013

When an all-star lineup gets together, expectations tend to become insurmountable. The Rides face this very obstacle with debut album Can’t Get Enough. After all, Stephen Stills, Barry Goldberg, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd make up the newly formed blues rock group. Fortunately, the three come together to produce a well-oiled machine nearly incapable of producing a single fault.

Stills, a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, played in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Goldberg performed with Muddy Waters and Otis Rush. Shepherd’s expert blues guitar playing fits effortlessly amid of the work of the former masters.

Even so, the lead track “Roadhouse” creates cause for concern. Stills uses his artistic license liberally, allowing the rhythm of the vocals to suffer. Despite occasional awkward accents on lyrics, the song itself is instrumentally infallible.

An up-tempo cover of Big Maybelle’s “That’s a Pretty Good Love” immediately compensates for the minor blunder with seamless instrumentation backed by Goldberg’s bouncing keys and Shepherd’s ringing guitar solo amid instantly recognizable chord progressions.

The prevalent covers serve as the highlights of the album, a fact that underscores the success of Can’t Get Enough. After all, most of the tracks are tributes to blues rock legends. The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy” is especially vibrant, as Shepherd’s ornamentation-free vocals and rampaging, dynamic solos rival the delivery of the original.

Another gem, “Rockin’ in the Free World,” creates nostalgia for the age of Neil Young’s 1989 version. The harmonies of the three blues men serve to further demonstrate the phenomenal production of the album as Shepherd and Stills occasionally trade verses over crunchy rhythm guitar sections.

Astoundingly, the album only improves from there. The Rides presents Elmore James’ classic “Talk to Me Baby” and Stills’s original “Word Game” as a more than worthy homage to the blues rock of decades past.

As the final oscillating guitar note fades, only one inevitable conclusion remains: Can’t Get Enough could not be more appropriately titled. Just start the album on repeat to save time between listens.

Voice’s Choices: “Search and Destroy,” “Word Game”

Kirill Makarenko
Former Assistant Leisure Editor


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