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Genre: Rock Music
Price: Call For Fee
Availability: Generally Availability
The American country rock band known as New Riders of the Purple Sage was established in 1969 in California. Founding member John Dawson had performed in the San Francisco area with legendary musicians such as Jerry Garcia and David Nelson. After contributing to the album Aoxomoxoa (the Grateful Dead’s third studio album), Dawson began writing his own material, just as the late 60’s saw musicians and bands such as Bob Dylan and The Band bring country rock to the forefront.
By the summer of 1969, New Riders of the Purple Sage had been established with the original lineup of John Dawson, David Nelson, and Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, and Phil Lesh. Bob Matthews sometimes also performed bass guitar during live performances and occasional studio work. New Riders of the Purple Sage began touring with the Grateful Dead in 1970 and entered the studio to prepare for their debut album.
The result, the self-titled New Riders of the Purple Sage, was a surprisingly successful album for its style and the era, rising into the top forty on the mainstream charts and surpassing the success of the Dead’s earlier albums. Although the album’s success can be attributed in part to Dawson’s songwriting abilities, most in the industry attribute it’s success to Garcia’s pedal-steel as featured on the album and in the group’s live performances.
Jerry Garcia did not remain with the group for long, and New Riders of the Purple Sage experienced dozens of changes to the lineup of the decades, but the group endured well into the new millennium as a southern rock favorite. With the exception of a lengthy hiatus between 1995 and 2003, the band has released a new album nearly every single year up through 2013, with Glendale Train being the most recent release. On the stage, New Riders of the Purple Sage continues to perform with the current lineup of David Nelson, Buddy Cage, Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque, and Johnny Markowski.
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