Motor City royalty is joined by star acolytes.
Following 2018’s well-received Christmas album, Ryder returns with 14 60s rock and soul covers, on which his once incendiary voice flickers with frailty but is bolstered by stellar cameos from Detroit homeboys Wayne Kramer and James Williamson, along with Sylvain Sylvain, Walter Lure, Pink Fairy Paul Rudolph, Cherie Currie, Brian Auger, Linda Gail Lewis, Arthur Adams, Joe Louis Walker and War’s Lee Oskar.
Ryder revisits only Devil With A Blue Dress On from his own catalogue, Williamson’s spikey salvo scything through the Spector-dense production. Sylvain dive-bombs The Standells’ Dirty Water, Kramer stings The Capitols’ Cool Jerk, Rudolph rogers Richard Berry’s Have Love Will Travel and Lure lathers Dave Berry’s Steppin’ Stone.
If later tracks like If I Had A Hammer carry less impact in this front-loaded set, and its soul ballads highlight his vocal failings, fans will rejoice that Ryder is still staking his often-overlooked place in Detroit music history. ■■■■■■■■■■