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The Adventures of Panama Red

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
One has to wonder if 1973 was the year of drug references in songs...never mind. In any case, The Adventures of Panama Red established the New Riders of the Purple Sage as something more than a Jerry Garcia side project -- which they never were. John Dawson, Spencer Dryden, David Nelson, and Dave Torbert along with pedal steel ace Buddy Cage -- replacing Garcia -- and producer and multi-instrumentalist Norbert Putnam crafted a smoking, hard country-rock and bluegrass hippie record. Also along for the ride were guest vocalists Donna Jean Godchaux from the Grateful Dead and no less than Buffy Sainte-Marie and the Memphis Horns. Trad country it ain't, and dated it is; but ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
One has to wonder if 1973 was the year of drug references in songs...never mind. In any case, The Adventures of Panama Red established the New Riders of the Purple Sage as something more than a Jerry Garcia side project -- which they never were. John Dawson, Spencer Dryden, David Nelson, and Dave Torbert along with pedal steel ace Buddy Cage -- replacing Garcia -- and producer and multi-instrumentalist Norbert Putnam crafted a smoking, hard country-rock and bluegrass hippie record. Also along for the ride were guest vocalists Donna Jean Godchaux from the Grateful Dead and no less than Buffy Sainte-Marie and the Memphis Horns. Trad country it ain't, and dated it is; but nonetheless, Panama Red has considerable charm as a relic from the era. Nelson, Torbert, and Dawson were decent songwriters and enthusiastic performers, and Columbia knew a good thing when they saw one and got behind the album -- which was a minor hit. The title track and "Lonesome L.A. Cowboy," with Cage's whinnying steel, carry a lot of the band's weight and separate them from virtually every other West Coast outfit trying the same thing. The Flying Burrito Brothers were more country and Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen swung harder, but one thing the New Riders were more of than anyone was stoned, and these songs with titles like "Important Exportin Man" and "Kick in the Head" and lyrics like "I've been smokin' dope, snortin' coke/tryin' to write a song/forgettin' everything I know until the next line comes along" only underline this. The freakiest thing is that the record segues together so beautifully and the songs are so tight with nothing extra between, it feels like it's a lot longer than the mere 29 minutes it is. The listener feels satisfied that after 11 songs it's all been said done in a delightful way. This endures despite its obvious lyrical stupidity. Musically it can do a lot to teach modern-day alt-country cookie cutters something about knowing the rules before trying to break them.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972367026
  • Catalog Number: 723670
  • Sales rank: 25,803

Album Credits

Performance Credits
New Riders of the Purple Sage Primary Artist
Buffy Sainte-Marie Vocals
The Memphis Horns Horn, Track Performer
Buddy Cage Steel Guitar
John Dawson Guitar, Vocals
Spencer Dryden Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux Vocals
David Nelson Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Norbert Putnam Bass
Dave Torbert Bass, Guitar, Vocals
D.W. Nelson Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
New Riders of the Purple Sage Contributor
The Memphis Horns Arranger, Horn Arrangements
Red Allen Composer
Tom Anderson Engineer
Bob Edwards Engineer
Tom Flye Engineer
Norbert Putnam Arranger, Producer, Horn Arrangements, Remixing
Spencer Concept
Chris Artwork
Phill Brown Engineer
Lore Orion Artwork, Concept
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