"Western Electric," an exciting self-titled debut release, breaks ground by blending twang, Byrds-ish 12-string, sound bites, pop/rock and psychedelia, all unified by leader and frontman SID GRIFFIN. It is certain to make waves as one of the breakthrough rock/Americana releases of the new year.
GRIFFIN -- frontman for L.A.'s seminal twangrock band The Long Ryders in the '80s -- has been active with a variety of solo and group (The Coal Porters) projects in the '90s. With Western Electric, Griffin has put together a combination of styles and influences that is both genre-bending and genre-expanding at the same time. This debut CD is a stunner.
In the early 1980s, a number of groups were following Gram Parsons' lead of blending pop and country influences, and adding a more rocked up feel. Most prominent among these were Rank and File and The Long Ryders, both out of L.A. After several critical and commercial successes, The Long Ryders broke up in the late '80s. Since then Griffin has focused on solo and Coal Porters releases in addition to quite a bit of music journalism, including his published biography of Gram Parsons.
Western Electric is:
Sid Griffin -- lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Pat McGarvey -- vocals, bass guitar, guitars, banjo, keyboards
Dave Morgan -- drums and percussion
Neil Robert Herd -- pedal steel guitar, lead guitar, 6-string bass, keyboards
-- Includes a guest appearance from ROBYN HITCHCOCK;
-- Includes a previously-unrecorded song by ex-Byrd GENE CLARK ("Straight From The Heart")