Grandma's Roadhouse

Grandma's Roadhouse

5.0 1
by Riley
     
 
The early '70s was a good time -- perhaps even the best time -- to be a country-rock band. Hippie culture had been more fully absorbed into America's collective consciousness than it was in the '60s, and at the same time, the backlash against the trippy, psychedelic excesses of the earlier era had begun in earnest, with the ascent of groups like See more details below

Overview

The early '70s was a good time -- perhaps even the best time -- to be a country-rock band. Hippie culture had been more fully absorbed into America's collective consciousness than it was in the '60s, and at the same time, the backlash against the trippy, psychedelic excesses of the earlier era had begun in earnest, with the ascent of groups like the Band and Poco. For some reason, though, top-shelf country-rockers Riley never made any commercial headway. Their 1970 album, Grandma's Roadhouse, was the rarest of rarities until its reissue 40 years after the fact; the original LP was released in a limited edition of only 500. Riley, named for frontman Riley Watkins, was essentially a trio, but singer/guitarist/pianist Gary Stewart was an unofficial fourth member. Stewart, who would become a country star in his own right later in the decade, was writing songs in Nashville and working at Owen Bradley's legendary studio Bradley's Barn when he invited Riley to do some recording. Stewart became a crucial part of the sessions, singing (mostly harmony), playing guitar and piano, and contributing four songs with his Nashville writing partner Bill Eldridge (who added some guitar to the tracks as well). Grandma's Roadhouse is a raw-sounding, rough-and-ready affair with no production frills whatsoever. Even the relatively bare-bones contemporaneous work of the band's aforementioned peers sounds slick in comparison to the tough, gritty tones achieved here. Watkins' gritty, somewhat John Fogerty-ish voice is the perfect vehicle for his and Stewart's greasy, mud-soaked tunes, which combine country twang, rock & roll energy, and some Southern soul influences. There's a loose, freewheeling vibe to the record, but the tunes are all tightly constructed, and the arrangements are strictly low-fat. The closest thing to hippie-era excess is the Allman Brothers Band-esque Watkins/Stewart guitar duel on closing track "Gotta Get Away." Even if it had gotten wider distribution at the time, Grandma's Roadhouse probably would have been too rough-edged for the mainstream, but it stands as a solid example of what was going on in the early-'70s roots rock underground.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/07/2010
Label:
Delmore Recordings
UPC:
0753182103969
catalogNumber:
21

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Riley   Primary Artist
Gary Stewart   Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Bill Eldridge   Rhythm Guitar
Riley Watkins   Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Mel Briggs   Saxophone,Vocals
Larry "Mouse" Munson   Drums
Jim Snead   Drums,Vocals
Jim Noveskey   Bass,Vocals

Technical Credits

Gary Stewart   Composer
Bill Eldridge   Composer
Joe Mills   Engineer
Michael Simmons   Liner Notes,Essay
Mark Linn   Producer
Riley Watkins   Composer
Jim Noveskey   Composer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Grandma's Roadhouse 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago