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Two Fisted Tales (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Two Fisted Tales, the last album by the Long Ryders, pulls together all the various elements that had distinguished them from the rest of the jangly, '60s revisionist rock bands of the mid-'80s. The Long Ryders' sound was a unique blending of McGuinn-esque guitar figures with well-defined parameters that encompassed Gram Parsons' country-rock sensibilities and the various tenets of traditional roots rock. Highlights include the kickoff track "Gunslinger Man," a powerful guitar assault that displays the band's ability to rock strong and hard. In contrast, "I Want You Bad," a Terry Adams-penned tune (also covered by Dave Edmunds), is a melodic song of long-distance desire. Here the vocal quality is particularly expressive and fitting to the song's message. On the other hand, formative years in the South are reflected on Sid Griffin's "Harriet Tubman's Gonna Carry Me Home." The overall instrumentation, which includes mandolin, autoharp, lap steel, and a guest accordion by David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, reflects their allegiance to traditional Americana music. Unfortunately, Two Fisted Tales was to be the Long Ryders' swan song. However, there are still those who recall the pioneering spirit of the Long Ryders. This deluxe edition, with four bonus tracks, was issued in the mid-'90s by Griffin's label, Prima Records.


Formed: 1981

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

Like their peers in the Los Angeles Paisley Underground movement of the '80s, the Long Ryders were a band who swore allegiance to the sounds of the '60s, but unlike the Dream Syndicate, the Rain Parade, or Green on Red, psychedelic rock played a miniscule role in their musical formula. Instead, the Long Ryders were powerfully influenced by the roots-centric approach of early folk-rock and country rock acts, in particular the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buffalo Springfield. And with the...
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Two Fisted Tales (Bonus Track Version), The Long Ryders
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