Welcome Back, Long Ryders, a True-West-ern & an Individual

A couple of old favorites have new, or upcoming, releases, that I wanted to share.

The Long Ryders were one of the first of the 80s alt.country rock outfit. The SoCal-bred band last year unveiled a comprehensive 4-CD retrospective, Final Wild Songs, on Cherry Red Records. This month, they have released their new song in 30 years, “Bear In The Woods.”

You can give a listen here:

The band, featuring its classic lineup (guitarist Sid Griffin, guitarist Stephen McCarthy, drummer Greg Sowders and bassist Tom Stevens, will be performing this weekend at the Stagecoach Festival, with tune-up gigs at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room (4/28) and L.A.’s Roxy (4/29). Hopefully, there will be more new music to come.

True West was part California Paisley Underground scene that overlapped some with the country rockers. Russ Tolman helped to co-found the band before to do a string of solo albums from the mid-80s through 2000, collaborating with the likes of Steve Wynn, Johnette Napolitano and Howe Gelb. On May 26, you can find a retrospective of his solo career on Lost Records’ Compass & Map. This 20-song set offers a fine look at Tolman’s spiky observational songwriting and fiery music that deserves more recognition. “Hollywood Holiday” is one track found on this collection.

Heading over to the East Coast, we turn to Glenn Morrow. If you are a fan of the Hoboken music scene, you know his name from bands like the Individuals, “a” and Rage To Live. Morrow also is the band behind the great Bar/None Records. After something of a musical hiatus, he is back with Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help. A self-titled album is due out June 23, but a listen to “Comfort Zone” gives you a sense of the smart tunes you’ll be hearing on it. Helping out Morrow on Cry For Help are guitarist Ric Sherman, bassist Mike Rosenberg and drummer Ron Metz (who has laid down the beat for bands like the Schramms and Human Switchboard).

Fans of this ’80s college rock universe should also note that Matthew Sweet has a big new album on the way. And by “big,” I mean a 17-track double CD. Look for Tomorrow Forever June 16 on his own Honeycomb Hideout label.

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About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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