NOW ON GREEN VINYL. LIMITED QUANTITIES REMAINING!
Spacecase Records (SCR003)
C.C. Riders were: Monsieur Jeffrey Evans (vocals, guitar), James Arthur (guitar), Jay Reatard (guitar) and Alicja Trout (drums). The band was something of a Memphis super group. Jeffrey Evans had formerly fronted the Gibson Bros. and was winding down '68 Comeback when C.C. Riders formed in 2000. James Arthur, who had recently moved to Memphis from Los Angeles, was an ex-member of Fireworks and The Necessary Evils. Jay Reatard (Reatards) and Alicja Trout (ex-Clears, Mouserocket) were just getting Lost Sounds off the ground when Jeffrey asked them to round out the C.C. Riders lineup. "With C.C. Riders I was basically doing what I always did, covering songs and writing a couple," recalls Jeffrey Evans. "We had a Friday night practice. It was fun. Some people play cards. We played music. We practiced from like eight to ten, so we still had time for dinner before practice and then maybe catch a show afterwards."
In 2001, Alicja and Jay recorded C.C. Riders' self-titled CD. The CD-R was released on Trout's Contaminated label; it was hand numbered and limited to only 100 copies. Among the album's highlights is a flushed out version of Evans' stellar original, "Long, Long Ballad of the Red-Headed Girl" "(The song) has a walk-down chord progression," states Evans. "The song also appears on (the amazing half spiel/half song acoustic record) I've Lived a Rich Life. It was much more orchestral with C.C. Riders. I don't know if I could write a song like that today. We just banged that C.C. Riders record out. We got what we got."
"Live shows were so much fun!" recalls Alicja Trout. "We played about ten to fifteen shows. Jeffrey was always changing stuff up live or forcing an uncomfortably new song on us. That touch of chaos was just what I needed. I know both Jay and I liked to be very prepared, Jay more than me. Jay was a great musician and so it was interesting to see him struggle when something got thrown in his face unplanned in the live arena. Same for me. It was always cool for James Arthur. He's an easy going personality."
C.C. Riders played their last shows and wound down around 2002.
Spacecase Records has pressed up 500 vinyl copies of this C.C. Riders reissue LP. Outside of the Contaminated CD-R release in 2001, this is the only other pressing of the album available.
Memphis super-jam group led by Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, with a backing band made up of Jay Reatard (guitar) and Alicja Trout (drums) right around the genesis of Lost Sounds and James Arthur (who was also playing in the Legs at the time, post-Necessary Evils) on guitar as well. Now, before you get thinking about the wild and crazy guitar antics this band could get up to with those players, just cool your jets (although this thing will get hairy, don't worry...). You need to think of this as a Jeff Evans record first and foremost and then you won't let yourself down. If you read the liners or any interviews regarding the band, this was basically a vehicle for Jeff with Jay, James and Alicja happy to be along for the ride and play in a band with a legendary guy they all admired very much. It's a mix of Mr. Evan's usual menu: some standards, some garagey versions of punk tunes and a few of his story-tellin' originals. "The Long Long Ballad of the Red-headed Girl" is literally long, but a great Evans honky-tonk spiel-type thing. My favorite moment on this is a real Memphis-style rave-up version of "I Gotta Right" that quite honestly slays. They also do a pretty fucking killer "Train Kepta Rollin'" with plenty of guitar shred. "King Riders Boogie" is righteous Memphis garage and "This Pussy's Gotta Give" is a good reminder that Jeff is punk as fuck and not afraid to work blue. The record closes with three "blues" variations, with Merle Haggard's "Workin Man Blues" particulary motivated and rockin'. A record that's a lot of fun to listen to, particularly if you're a Jeff Evans fanatic, but Reatards fans will dig on it too. I'm happy to add this to my Memphis collection.
--RK, Terminal Boredom
Recorded in 2001 and previously only available on CD-R, an LP version is finally seeing the light of day. Featuring some of Memphis’s and, well, the world’s, garage rock’n’roll royalty (Jeffrey Evans, Jay Reatard, Alicja Trout, James Arthur.) Three guitars/no bass is the plan of attack; however, fans of Reatard and Arthur won’t find any of their typical skronk highlighted. Not unlike Evans’ most noted combo, ‘68 Comeback. A mix of covers and originals, with the covers sounding enough like Jeffrey Evans songs to fool the uninitiated. To wit: it wasn’t until like the third or fourth listen that I realized “I Gotta Right” is the Stooges song. I never did get to see ‘68 Comeback and hope to see a proper rockin’ Jeff Evans show some day. Technically, I’ve seen him twice. Once, solo outdoors where his amp distortion didn’t take well to the elements, and one time doing someMemphis heel shtick with Ross Johnson, starting a song, then cutting it off and just taunting the crowd.
--Sal Lucci, Razorcake
I like getting an education away from academies. When listening to Jeffrey Evans—my first exposure was years ago with The Gibson Bros.—it’s always seemed that I’m not just listening to him, but decades upon decades of great rock’n’roll, rockabilly, and blues through him. It’s no Blues Hammer “I picked cotton” histrionic shit. His music is often shaken and agitated or slightly askew, but with a deep understanding and great respect for the legacies of mostly overlooked icons. (Which Jeffery Evans has become, too.) This LP is a re-release (first time on vinyl) of a small CD run from 2001 that was originally released on Contaminated. The CC Riders on this outing were none other than Alicja Trout (Lost Sounds, Mouse Rocket, Nervous Patterns, on drums), Jay Reatard (on guitar), and James Arthur (Necessary Evils, on guitar). The recording is intimate and warm and has that Oblivians or Dirtbombs LP feel, where they balance out carefully selected covers and pair them with a handful of durable, memorable originals. If you’re looking for roots, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for cheap, shiny things that will soon tarnish, take a pass. A welcome and recommended record.
--Todd Taylor, Razorcake