KC 31930 Gypsy Cowboy
Produced by Steve Barncard and NRPS
Released on December 1972
Find it at GEMM
KC 31930 cover
[high resolution scan]

K RONOMYTH 3.0: LIFE AFTER THE DEAD. The Riders had been dropping their Dead along the way and, presumably, Deadheads along with them. By their third album, Gypsy Cowboy, the Dead’s participation in the project consisted of Donna Jean Godchaux singing backing vocals on a few tracks. Unlike their debut, written entirely by John Dawson and sounding like pleasant Aoxomoxoa outtakes, the Riders drifted deeper into country-rock with the addition of Buddy Cage and the emergence of Dave Torbert as a songwriter. Gypsy Cowboy finds the band settling closer to a signature sound where psychedelic country-rock is the middle point and any particular song might shift toward one end of the spectrum (“Death and Destruction”) or the other (“She’s No Angel”). Unlike the cover-heavy Powerglide, Cowboy only features two non-original tunes: Angel and “Long Black Veil,” which Johnny Cash had covered a few years earlier. As a testament to Dave Torbert’s emergence as a songwriter, he provides both the title track and the album’s single, “Groupie.” Dawson’s half-dozen range from the psychedelic Death (shades of Satanic Majesties) to pop music with pedal steel (“Sailin’”). There are also the usual references to drugs and outlaws from Dawson (“Superman,” “Whiskey”), themes that have become synonymous with the New Riders. Despite the new material, the main attraction for many will be the pedal steelwork of Buddy Cage, the band’s most formidable musical force. Cage is sweet in any combination (violin, mandolin, guitar) and just the sort of deadly stringslinger from which a band could build a fearsome reputation. From the beginning, the Riders set out to carry what Dead would come and explore the country. Here, on their mighty lonesome, country-rock fans will still want to come along for the ride.

KC 31930 back cover
KC 31930 back cover


  1. GYPSY COWBOY    (Dave Torbert)    4:17
  2. WHISKEY    (John Dawson)    3:33
  3. GROUPIE    (Dave Torbert)    2:37
  4. SUTTER'S MILL    (John Dawson)    1:51
  5. DEATH AND DESTRUCTION    (John Dawson)    8:41
  6. LINDA    (John Dawson)    3:03
  7. ON MY WAY BACK HOME    (Dave Torbert)    3:28
  8. SUPERMAN    (John Dawson)    3:08
  9. SHE'S NO ANGEL    (Wanda Ballman/J.W. Arnold)    2:51
  10. LONG BLACK VEIL    (Marijohn Wilkin/Danny Dill)    3:54
  11. SAILIN'    (John Dawson)    2:48

    CD reissue bonus tracks


BUDDY CAGE -- pedal steel
JOHN DAWSON -- vocals, rhythm guitar
SPENCER DRYDEN -- drums and percussion
DAVID NELSON -- lead guitar, vocals, dobro, mandolin, bagpipes
DAVE TORBERT -- bass, vocals, acoustic
Darlene DiDomenico -- vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux -- vocals (9,10)
Richard Greene -- violin
Mark Naftalin -- piano
Jack Schoer -- horns
Steve Barncard -- engineer
Dave Brown -- engineer
Ellen Burke -- engineer
Thomas Weir -- photography

return to NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE discography

US December 1972 Columbia LP/8T KC/CA 31930  
UK 1972 CBS LP S65008  
AUSL 1972 CBS LP SBP 234273  
JPN 1972 CBS/Sony LP SPOL-137  
FRA 2000 Sony CD 471371  
US/UK March 9, 2002 Beat Goes On CD BGOCD-509 repackaged w. THE ADVENTURES OF PANAMA RED
US July 17, 2007 Wounded Bird CDX 1930 w. bonus tracks


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