17 Pine Avenue

The latest CD


In Stores now

Also available at www.woodstockrecords.com and on itunes

17 PINE AVENUE is the follow-up to Where I Come From which was released by the New Riders of the Purple Sage in 2009.  It features 12 new songs, 7 of which were written by David Nelson and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Also included are Just The Way It Goes and Truth Is Dead, written by Michael Falzarano (formerly of Hot Tuna), a live show favorite Down For The Ride, penned by Johnny Markowski, and Shake That Thing by Ronnie Penque. This legendary band’s renaissance began seven years ago and continues to grow today with over 100 shows annually to audiences throughout the United States and Canada.

17 Pine Avenue is psychedelic Americana at its finest. 


1. Prisoner of Freedom

2. Message in a Bottle

3. Fivio

4. Just The Way It Goes

5. 17 Pine Avenue

6. Down for The Ride

7. No Time

8. Shake That Thing

9. Suite at the Mission

10. I Know There’s Someone Else

11. Six of One

12. Truth Is Dead



New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Brian Robbins

Listen: if somehow you’ve missed crossing paths with the New Riders Of The Purple Sage since their 2005 renaissance, then you need to understand something. This is not a band of tired, tie-dyed troubadours seeing out their later years, going through the motions and rehashing their greatest hits – these crazy bastards are still full of life; full of fire; full of music. 17 Pine Avenue is the latest round of proof: a killer studio album featuring a dozen cuts that show off the depth of the band’s talent and their passion for what they’re doing. In short, this is no oldies band, boys and girls – this is a happening thang. Guitarist Michael Falzarano did duty on both sides of the glass for 17 Pine Avenue, handling production chores as well as acting as the liaison between the rhythm of the engine room (drummer Johnny Markowski and bassist Ronnie Penque) and the pickers in the wheelhouse (guitarist David Nelson and Buddy Cage on pedal steel). Keep an ear out for Falzarano’s off-mic heys and yelps, ushering in Nelson’s B-bender Tele or Cage’s steel … they’re little, tiny windows into the kind of excitement this bunch still feels when they’re in the heat of a jam. The album’s mix is just right: fairly dry and immediate, with a few wisps of psychedelic weirdness here and there – but nary a studio trick in sight. (None needed: this is simply a matter of a band of vets playing their asses off and sounding like they’re having a good time doing it.)  Johnny Markowski contributes a pair of tunes to 17 Pine Avenue : Down For The Ride contains just the right balance of weariness, sweetness, coolness, and hope, combined with a draw-off-and-let-it-fly singalong chorus and a pedal steel break by the legendary Cage that’ll break your goddamn heart. “I Know There’s Someone Else” finds Markowski channeling the late, great Marmaduke Dawson with the sort of headneck romp that made the Riders famous in the first place. (Catch the cool Hammond work by guest Professor Louie and the spark-throwing interplay between Cage and Nelson in the song’s final minute.) Ronnie Penque (he of the serpentine, syrupy bass lines that both anchor the weirdness and encourage it) takes the lead on “Shake That Thing”, a funky, nasty shimmyshake with psychedelic undertones. Falzarano’s “Just The Way It Goes” is chock full of I-wish-you-well-but-I’ve-had-enough-of-this-shit bittersweetness and at least two arms’ worth of tattoo material (example: “I’ve got my ducks in a row/Now I’m gonna shoot ‘em down”). His reworking of the old traditional “Truth Is Dead” takes things home with a message that’s as much a challenge as it is a warning. “Hey, darlin’ … wanna dance?” asks Falzarano just before the fade, the consummate cosmic cowboy Nero. And then you have the tunes penned by David Nelson and the legendary Robert Hunter – a combination of talents that has as much to do with friendship as it does art. Remember, folks – Nelson was part of that Bay Area picking circle with Hunter and a young lad by the name of Garcia all those many moons ago. Roots run deep; and the proof’s in the music, my friend. As with so, so many of his collaborations with Jerry Garcia, Hunter’s lyrics for the New Riders often conjure up familiar feelings of “Don’t I know this? Haven’t I been here before? But how could I have?” Consider “Fivio” (infused with tasty bits of Cage’s pedal steel), which sounds like it might have been penned in the shade of an apple tree 130 years ago. The lovely “Suite At The Mission” is chock-bursting full of big pictures and even bigger characters. Or how about the title song, a total “Cosmic Charlie”-style Crumbwalk that’s loaded with wicked wordplay and rubber-legged-and-droopy-eyed grins. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too,” indeed. Who’d have thought one would ever use the word “sexy” in a New Riders review? Well, you tell me: crank up the album opener “Prisoner Of Freedom” and let that infectious head-bopping groove (courtesy of Markowski and Penque) settle into your bones. When they let Cage loose after the first chorus, the fuzz-out snarl of his pedal steel is just absolutely nasty – I’m talking make-you-blush filthy here, folks. Jesus … Professor Louie’s accordion is the perfect addition to the happy gumbo of “Message In A Bottle”. And if you want to hear someone play the living dogsnot out of a B-bender Telecaster, check out Nelson’s solo at the 2:55 mark of “Six Of One”. (All you kids out there pay attention and learn yerselves something.)Getting older? Who says?

I’ll have whatever they’re having, barkeep. Put it in a bag for me and I’ll take it to 17 Pine Avenue


New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Music Frenzy John

 Country rock or psychedelic Americana.  Call it what you wish but the latest album from the New Riders of the Purple Sage “17 Pine Avenue” is fun, danceable, enjoyable, high-quality music.  The album features 12 new songs, 7 of which were written by David Nelson and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. 

The title track “17 Pine Avenue” is such a groovy track that I literally played it 4 times in a row!  Few songs exude “cool” through its music or lyrics.  This track does it through both.  It has a rhythm that makes you want to strut around town while singing its opening lyrics “Number 17 Pine Avenue.  Corner of Southwest and Coochie Coo.”  It truly sounds like every single person playing on that song is having one hell of a time. 

The album was recorded at Forge Recording by Larry Levin and Brad Kotzmoyer, mastered by Ed Littman, and produced by Michael Falzarano.  I mention this because the sound quality of this recording is superior.  I dare anyone to listen to the drums on “Fivio” and tell me that they aren’t some of the best sounding drums put down by any band.  The tone, the clarity, and just the way Johnny Markowski plays them left me tuned in to the drums on every song.  The pedal steel as played by Buddy Cage helps give the record that country sound.

Band mainstay David Nelson’s vocals shine throughout the album.  His voice is strong and at some points even soothing as he leads his band mates through these songs that have a Travelling Wilburys-ish feel but are 100% New Riders of the Purple Sage!

Classic Rock Revisited

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Jeb Wright

New Riders began life as a side band for Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. When David Nelson joined the new group, New Riders became a unique band that mixed acoustic music with electric and became their own entity. Garcia left and the band carried on creating hippy rock and garnering a large audience.

The new album continues in the fine tradition of the band proving that these guys are still in it for the right reasons. This is not a bunch of grandpas reliving the glory days with failing faculties. New Riders of the Purple Sage are a band with a musical vision and they are still quite capable of fulfilling that vision. The new disc is every bit as sharp as anything they have done in their history.

The band comes out of the box quickly on this one with “Prisoner of Freedom.” This is a powerful tune and one of seven new tunes written by Nelson and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Hunter remains as a wordsmith of unequalled talent and his involvement on the album makes this one even more special.

The album flows from beginning to end, mixing electric with acoustic just the way the debut did. This is a band who still feel every note.



The Dirty Low Down 

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

 By Robert Carraher                             

….. A reconstituted line-up of the New Riders began touring in late 2005. It features David Nelson and Buddy Cage, alongside guitarist Michael Falzarano (formerly of Hot Tuna), bassist Ronnie Penque, and drummer Johnny Markowski who all contribute to this great renaissance to the ground breaking psychedelic act.

17 Pine Avenue includes 12 brand new songs from the originators of country-delic music (I just made that word up). And, it is like being transported back to those ‘hazy’ days of the summer of love. “Prisoner Of Freedom” not only speaks to the state of the world today, but would have been right at home at Woodstock. Not surprisingly, Robert Hunter who so long ago played with the band and will go down in history as the lyricist for so many great Grateful Dead songs does the same on seven of the tunes here.

“Message In A Bottle’ is a decidedly Zydeco/Cajun flavored ode to missing the point of messages but more than that lost chances in life and times. “ It might have peace and freedom It might have been peace and freedom, I ain’t going to grieve no more…”  “Just The Way It Goes” is a Falzarano penned tune, a good-bye to love and what was never meant to be. The title tune is a shuffle that would feel right at home in a Grateful Dead set. “Down For The Ride” is a ballad written by Markowski about love and the hope that it lasts. Are you down for the ride?

“No Time” reminds us that this ain’t no time to fuck around. The album is filled with great tunes that remind us how good it was back then and how pertinent those bands are still today. The lyrics and the music are still filled with double entendre and innuendo, the message is simple, the trip is fun The New Riders manage the seemingly impossible. they  remained true to the original musical vision and integrity without becoming outdated or archaic in the process. This ain’t no nostalgia act, they still have songs with messages for today.

New Riders Of The Purple Sage. Long may they ride. To 17 Pine Avenue or wherever. “ When the bullets have left the gun. There ain’t no time to duck. Do not ask what must be done. Just drive the fuckin’ truck!”.

Full review here http://the-dirty-lowdown.blogspot.com/2012/03/cd-review-17-pine-avenue-by-new-riders.html

Audio Audition

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Robbie Gerson

New Riders Of The Purple Sage were a counterculture institution…

Whether they are referred to as country rock or psychedelic folk, New Riders Of The Purple Sage were an influential presence in the merging of sixties music with traditional country. In the late 60s and early seventies, groups like The Flying Burrito Brothers, Dillard Clark, The Band, Gram Parsons and even Bob Dylan immersed themselves in Western culture. On the San Francisco scene, The Grateful Dead (in particular Jerry Garcia who took up the pedal steel guitar, and earlier the banjo) developed a relationship with a group of musicians that would eventually become New Riders Of The Purple Sage.

David Nelson and John Dawson (who introduced the music of Bakersfield legends Buck Owens and Merle Haggard to the “community”) formed a band that would include (among many), Robert Hunter (future Dead lyricist), Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane drummer), Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Garcia. They recorded several albums including the self-titled debut, Gypsy Cowboy and Panama Red which featured the classic title track. In 2005, the latest reincarnation of the band re-formed and started touring.

17 Pine Avenue is the current release from New Riders, and they haven’t missed a beat. Eleven original compositions (including seven with lyrics by Hunter) and one cover represent country rock at its best. The opening track, “Prisoner Of Freedom” manifests the outlaw vibe of forty years past with a guitar-laden medium tempo and sly vocals (Nelson). The ragged harmonies are sublimely weary. Another Nelson/Hunter tune (“Message In A Bottle”) is up tempo zydeco  with an engaging pedal steel (Buddy Cage) and a hard-driving rhythm section (Ronnie Penque and Johnny Markowski). The music has a timeless, listenable feel. The Western imagery and arrangements are transformative…it could be 1970 with references to trucks, passages of time and nonconformity. The identification with bandit lore is evident on “No Time” with visions of flying bullets, a hanging tree and “running out of time.”

Continuing the Nelson/Hunter muse is the hard-rocking “Six Of One” with the humorous refrain, “why do you complain, when I’m doin’ my best?”. The dual electric guitars of Nelson and Michael Falzarano are infectious. In a change of pace, “Suite At The Mission” is melancholic and eternally defiant. “Fivio” tries to capture the romantic idealism of the road with unpretentious conviction. At the core of this album is a veteran road-tested band that believes in their music. They are comfortable with gentle country swing (“Down For The Ride”, a Markowski number), pure country talkin’ blues (“Truth Is Dead”) or Saturday night dance music (“Just The Way It Goes” by Falzarano). Nostalgia enthusiasts will appreciate the Southwestern-tinged, mind-bending cover art of Kevin Morgan.

New Riders Of The Purple Sage were a counterculture institution. 17 Pine Avenue will remind the public that they are simply a great band.

(David Nelson – guitar, vocals; Buddy Cage – pedal steel guitar; Michael Falzarano – guitar, vocals; Ronnie Penque – bass, vocals; Johnny Markowski – drums, vocals; Professor Louie – Hammond Organ, accordion; Lizzy Friel – vocals; Christian Cassan – percussion.

The Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

by Mark S. Tucker

could say the New Riders of the Purple Sage have been pretty damn successful, and this latest release, 17 Pine Avenue, does nothing to tarnish that record—in fact pretty much epitomizes what the ensemble has always been about—being a very impressive disc that can still boast the presence of founding members David Nelson and Buddy Cage along with the same three cats who made 2009’s Where I Come From a success. More, Robert Hunter is rock solid with the band and wrote or co-wrote over half the cuts here. From the outset, Prisoner of Freedom, Pine Avenue is a groove-filled, rollicking, rocking, boot-scooting, solid set of Americana roots music that’ll have you up out of the armchair and onto the nearest rug, cutting a high-stepping floor waltz to beat the band.

In fact, as someone who has NRPS’s entire early catalogue, Pine Avenue is every inch as good as the best of that period, a time still fondly recalled by many. Nelson’s and Michael Falzarano’s guitar licks are dead nuts on the money, dusty as a familiar trail and golden as the sun just setting into a reddening horizon, while Cage’s pedal steel is supernaturally liquid. When he takes his solos, as in Suite at the Mission, a killer layback, you can almost walk through wheatfields and byways, hound dog baying in the distance, quail scurrying in the underbrush. Not a cut here is less than superb, and if there’s any justice in the music world, releases like this will serve to re-invigorate the fading cowpunk movement ’cause this one’s going to stun listeners in their tracks.

Yep, if the Baby Boom generation is fated to have to go the way of all flesh, then they’re sure as hell going to go out with style on more than one front…and it’ll surely be a while before the Reaper swings that scythe. He’ll be too damn busy gittin’ down with everyone else the moment this disc comes pouring out of the speakers. Throwing back that hood and sashaying around the barroom, Ol’ Dan Scratch’ll be hootin’ ‘n hollerin’ like there was no tomorrow. Someone pass the gaunt bastard a doob, slip a leetle Jack Black in his Pepsi, and make sure the jukebox is cued to a non-stop repeat of this CD; we just might see a surcease wherein the underworld’s grateful dead sigh and sit back, a kingfish or two wing into the rafters, and a gaggle of lost planet airmen mosey on through the back door to sit, grin, and reminisce about the good ol’ days.


Sun Herald.com

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Ricky Flake

This week’s Sound Check begins with the first release in Johnny Cash’s 80th birthday celebration, which is fittingly a collection of gospel recordings and a new release by New Riders of the Purple Sage, 17 Pine Avenue.

This March 6 CD is the first release by the New Riders since 2009, and I’m surprised that there was one of such recent vintage. They released their eponymous debut album in September 1971 after being signed by Clive Davis to Columbia.

Many years and personnel shakeups later, here’s a new one with original members David Nelson (guitar/vocals) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel) supplemented by Michael Falzarano (guitar/vocals), Ronnie Penque (bass/vocals) and Johnny Markowski (drums/vocals). Former Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter adds words to Nelson’s compositions.

Highlights of this old-fashioned country-rock album include the boogie-based opener, “Prisoner of Freedom,” the easy-swinging title song, the lengthy “Suite at the Mission” and Cage’s pedal steel, which is the band’s not-so-secret weapon.

Fans of classic country-rock will enjoy this recording.

Times Record News

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

By Don Chance

With legendary favorite bar band songs such as “Panama Red” and “Glendale Train” to their credit, the original country rocking New Riders of the Purple Sage band is back with “17 Pine Avenue,” and in its sixth continuous decade in the business, the group is still influencing long-haired country pickers.

Originally started as a way for Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia to practice playing his new pedal steel guitar in a group setting, The New Riders have always adhered to a simple formula: Rock ’em, but keep it country, too. And “17 Pine Avenue” follows the formula to perfection.

Kicking strong with “Prisoner of Freedom,” the set offers a nice variety California country/rock moods.

With songs like “Fivio,” “Just the Way It Goes,” “Down for the Ride,” “Suite at the Mission,” “I Know There’s Someone Else” and the swinging title track, the New Riders show they can still teach even the Red Dirt crowd something about mixing country music with rock ‘n’ roll.


Relix Magazine

New Riders of the Purple Sage – 17 PINE AVENUE (Woodstock Records)

 by Jesse Jarnow
Birthed (as they say) because Jerry Garcia wanted an outlet to play pedal steel, David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson probably would’ve started a band anyway, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage have galloped onward for most of the past four decades. Buddy Cage replaced Garcia in ’72 and Marmaduke died in 2009, but semi-unretired Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter-who penned seven
songs with Nelson, steeped in the same Bay Area folkwaters as Garcia and Hunter  themselves-is on board for this incarnation. The glorious centerpiece is “Suite at the Mission,” ringing like a lost Garcia/Hunter number cut from the same existential cloth as “Wharf Rat,” “Mission in the Rain” and countless others, weary and triumphantly defiant. Cage’s pedal steel lays a tearful bed for Nelson’s craggy delivery; Hunter’s familiar world opens up instantly. In somewhat looser form elsewhere (like the F-bombed “No Time”), Hunter and the New Riders exude boogie wisdom of the “U.S. Blues.” The non-Hunter tunes aren’t nearly as elegant, but that’s not their fault, and it’s a welcome dispatch from Hunter and the New Riders’ American West as sunset approaches.