Today on Ecléctico you're listening to New Riders of the Purple Sage, a cosmic country rock band with deep connections to the Grateful Dead—Jerry Garcia was their first pedal steel player. When the Dead got busier and Garcia left, the great Buddy Cage took over the pedal steel and shines on this song. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article on the Lost Live Dead blog about their archival release, Thanksgiving in New York City.
"Whiskey" by New Riders of the Purple Sage
1972 | Cosmic country rock from the San Francisco Bay Area
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Thanksgiving In New York City [is] a two-disc set containing the complete late show at the Academy Of Music in Manhattan from November 23, 1972. In contrast to the tentative explorations of the early Riders, the '72 band was road tested and battle hardened. They played a wide variety of originals and covers, rocking hard while the melodies soared. By then, Garcia's pedal steel chair had been taken by the great Buddy Cage, and Cage took Garcia's basic melodic template and exploded it into a remarkable kaleidoscope of sweet picking and sharp sustain.
Thanksgiving in New York City...shows how good they had become after just a year with Buddy Cage. By this time, the band was playing two-hour shows, with a rich mixture of original material and covers of both classic country and contemporary rock hits. Much as we all love Garcia's tasteful steel licks, it's Buddy Cage who was the real deal with ten or twenty strings. Cage could encompass all of Garcia's melodic warmth, pick like any Nashville cat, and still get a rockin' edge from his steel guitar that made him a real rock and roller.
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