By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
New Riders of the Purple Sage are famous for their rambling brand of California country music, which is a lot like the original Southern stuff sans the vocal twang. Lumped in with artists like Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, they re-create the collective "Bakersfield sound" of the '50s and '60s. While the band fits within the spectrum of country music, it incorporates hippie sounds and harmonies.
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So it should come as no surprise that the band also has included several members of the Grateful Dead, including Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and lyricist Robert Hunter. Their most famous tune, "Panama Red," features lyrics about an especially strong form of marijuana known for its intense high. The song refers to Panama Red as an outlaw who steals both your woman and your mind.
One can only hope New Riders' live show remains just as potent.
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