Interview: Sid Griffin (of The Long Ryders @ Pearl Street Warehouse, 9/20/19)

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The Long Ryders (Photo by Henry Diltz)

Sid Griffin is an acclaimed musician and music journalist based in London. From 1984-87, he led The Long Ryders, who emerged out of the Paisley Underground to become one of the first alternative-country bands, before the term even existed. Final Wild Songs, a compilation of the band’s albums with additional, new live material, released in 2016, received a rare five-star review from Allmusic.

After a 30-year hiatus, the band reunited to record the well-received Psychedelic Soul, released earlier this year. In a turn of good karma, the band’s old roadie, now working as Dr. Dre’s PA, got the band a week at the rap mogul’s studio. In a way, it’s fitting: the Ryders make politically charged, insurgent country-rock.

Sid has written for Mojo, Q, NME, Rock ‘n’ Reel, and the Manchester Guardian. An expert on Gram Parsons, he has published Gram Parsons: A Musical Biography, and co-authored the BBC television documentary Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel. He has also written two books about Bob Dylan, Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Basement Tapes, and Shelter From The Storm.

In addition to his work with The Long Ryders, Sid has recorded and performed with the Coal Porters and as a solo artist. Mark Engleson of Parklife DC talked to Sid about all of this and more prior to a performance by The Long Ryders at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, Sept. 20.

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Live Review: Phantogram @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 9/6/19

Phantogram12Phantogram performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 6, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Dreampop duo Phantogram presented a free intimate show at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, in advance of a later big production at The Anthem, to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

At first, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter seemed as if they might be motivated to raise awareness of the issue due to the suicide of Mark Linkous, former frontman of Virginia band Sparklehorse. But their connection to the issue turned out to be much deeper than I imagined.

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Live Review: Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 8/4/19

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Kyle Craft performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Aug. 4, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Dylan-influenced glam rocker (and Evan Peters lookalike) Kyle Craft opened his show at the Pearl Street Warehouse recently by getting political. He came out solo and played Particle Kid’s “Gunshow Loophole Blues,” a searing commentary on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend. (Particle Kid is the stage name of Kyle’s friend Micah Nelson, the 27-year-old son of the legendary Willie Nelson.)

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Live Review: Karen Jonas @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 3/31/19

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Karen Jonas performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The first time I saw Karen Jonas and her musical partner, Tim Bray, perform was at Gypsy Sally’s in 2015. I had the pleasure of seeing the duo with Karen’s band again recently at Pearl Street Warehouse on the night she won the 2019 Wammy Award for Best Country/Americana Artist.

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