Rides ris­ing

Rock leg­end Stephen Stills sings the blues with Kenny Wayne Shep­herd and Barry Gold­berg.

Metro USA (Boston) - - WKND - A.D. AMOROSI @MetroBOS let­ters@metro.us

To hear it from the horse’s mouth, Stephen Stills — the leg­endary Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer known for his time with Buf­falo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and his long­time solo ca­reer — has for­ever been blue.

“I started off singing the blues. I’ve al­ways been a blues singer,” says Stills, who kicked off his ca­reer with the folk­bluesy Au Go-Go Singers af­ter leav­ing Dal­las for New York City.

Now, more than 50 years later, Stills has re­turned to the hard blues fold with The Rides, his new-ish band with blues gui­tar hot­shot Kenny Wayne Shep­herd and rock-blues warhorse or­gan­ist and com­poser Barry Gold­berg. Fol­low­ing 2013’s suc­cess­ful “Can’t Get Enough,” the trio has re­u­nited for a record, “Pierced Ar­row,” and a tour.

“We’re bound to our sched­ules when we’re all off at the same time,” says Shep­herd of find­ing time be­tween solo ca­reers to make an­other Rides al­bum. “We’d have to write over the course of a year rather than one shot be­cause one of us would go off and do solo shows. We’re com­mit­ted to this band, but there are al­ways mov­ing parts.”

On stage since age 13, with eight raw and rusted solo albums un­der his belt, the now-37-year-old Shep­herd met Stills at a most un­likely place: the Su­per Bowl.

“Stephen and I were mu­tual friends with the own­ers of the In­di­anapo­lis Colts and both got in­vited to their box the year that the Colts beat the Chicago Bears,” he says. “Not only was it the first time that we met, it was the first time that we played to­gether. There wound up be­ing this jam with me, Stephen, John Mel­len­camp and Mike Mills from R.E.M.”

Sev­eral Colts games later, Stills de­cided that he wanted to put a blues band to­gether with Gold­berg, whom he had worked with on the clas­sic Mike Bloom­field 1968 “Su­per Ses­sion” al­bum. Stills says “pu­rity” best de­scribes Gold­berg’s per­for­mance as part of the Rides, while Shep­herd is la­beled as “fresh.”

Shep­herd ex­plains: “[The sessions were] orig­i­nally just go­ing to be an ex­per­i­men­tal blues jam — some­body press the ‘record’ but­ton and see what

The Rides get the blues. ELEANOR STILLS

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