Online since August 2002

An easy country-rock sound

Reviewed June 2009

200 Miles From Everywhere ...
200 Miles From Everywhere ...
By The Riders

Self-released: 2009

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

Playing a gentle countrified folk-rock, L.A.'s The Riders sound nearly as if they stepped out of a time machine from the early '70s fresh off opening for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band or Poco. The dozen songs on their recent release have the easy familiarity of an early Eagles album, and lead singer Tom Cusimano sounds more than a little like Jackson Browne.

Cusimano also shows a nice touch at writing. "Coalinga" is a classic bit of country-rock: catchy melody, perfect bridge, nice guitar solos. It'd be a huge hit if radio still cared about breaking new artists. "Toby's Song" is also a hit in waiting – an uptempo little rocker. Keyboardist Rami Jaffee brings a bit of Southern boogie to his playing – a touch of Atlanta Rhythm Section or Widespread Panic, and the rhythm section (Jimmy Olson on drums and Lavalle Houser on bass) are as supple as a good jazz combo while still able to push things along.

The quality of the songs drops off fairly steeply on the second half of the album, and the band never really rocks out – everything is in that kind of Eagles/Poco mellow. But when it clicks, as on "Coalinga," the music here is awfully good.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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