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The Rider - My Way
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

In breaking a new act to the media, the usual introductory point is the push and pull of hype-carted promises of unbelievable talent. Tomorrow’s next big thing normally arrives trumpeted with an expansive and expensive web site. Then there are the publicity shots. Often there’s a styled hat. There’s often a shiny buckle and a canyon of gleaming teeth, all aided with breathless praise pushing the album “you must hear”. Crammed, if we believe the spin, with unforgettable tunes -- several soon to be huge -- all written by noted songwriters; the ballyhoo is a predictable treadmill. So, when a review package arrives without any of the hoopla, well, if nothing else, it sparks interest. And when the artist’s name is, wait for it, The Rider, the curiosity really kicks in.

Sparse the details may be, but our mystery man does deliver. Released on V-Tone Music, the 12 track self-written album, My Way, could serve as a metaphor. The album could easily serve bigger ambitions for the man who looks out from his album cover, bearded, unsmiling and dressed in a cape-like coat, while walking an unnamed highway. It’s all a mystery, sure, but the music more than satisfies the intrigue.

What we do know is our talented and retiring songster comes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He started writing songs at 14, honing his interest in folk, rock and country, eventually to, years on, doorstop in Nashville to record this debut. Now with a tight band of seasoned session musicians, including Tim McGraw’s Dancehall Doctors, Bob Miner and Denny Hemingson, The Rider has packaged an album of interest.

Of immediate notice is he not only pens well-rounded and hook-driven tunes of life, love and the fragile balance, but he has a voice that could carry them, easily, to radio. With a voice textured with a Bob Seger similarity, our identity-shy artist is a blend of vocal strength and lyrical sensitivity. Tracks like the rock-driven and drum pounded “Betty Lou,” the equally danceable, “Stop Hear The Sound,” and the harmony-rich “Baby You’ll Love It” cover one-half of the mix.

Sensitive moments come shared on the thought-provoking lovin’ and leavin’ tale, “By Your Side,” while the revealing “Do You Remember” prods stored memories. The cowboy tale of lonely rides and active thoughts of home and family play out on “Hello Brown Eyes,” and, the final cut, Doing Fine Ya’ll,” is a nod to the simplicity of life, all tunes that unmask abilities that shouldn’t be hidden.

The Rider. He comes without fanfare, without hype, and without the thundering hooves of a media contingent content to ram the product home. The Rider: revealing little but sharing everything. For a guy who wants to stay low-key, content to make his music his way, here’s an offered suggestion. This album won’t help.

Check it out at your local store. The mystery will surprise.

My Way song list:

To purchase the CD online just click on the album cover on the left. 
<----
1. Still Want You
2. Lets Go Down To It 
3. Betty Lou
4. By Your Side 
5. Take A Ride 
6. Stop Hear The Sound 
7. Do You Remember
8. Baby You'll Love It 
9. This Time 
10. Hey What Do You Say 
11. Hello Brown Eyes 
12. Doing Fine Ya'll

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