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Mitch Ryder is no has-been, oldies performer. Although few of his albums have been released in the US in the last 30 years, he has continued to write, record, and perform throughout Europe throughout his lengthy career. With a full overseas tour schedule and 14 albums to his name, he is a musician in his prime, keeping The Promise, keeping it real.
High octane, turbo, high performance, super charged MITCH RYDER & The Detroit Wheels didn't need to hail from the Motor City for those adjectives to be tossed their way, but it was certainly appropriate that they called Motown home. It was Mitch and The Wheels who served as the musical bridge between the Motown soul factory and the high energy, take no prisoners rock 'n' roll that would roar out of Detroit via Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger. With Ryder, it wasn't attitude or public outrage or politics that generated the charge. You could simply hear it in the music.
Ryder hit during the mid-'60s when AM radio was going through a golden era courtesy of Motown, Stax, the British Invasion, Aretha, JB, and any number of garage band one-hit wonders. But no one on the radio then could match Mitch and company for pure visceral excitement, no one else could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and a wild-eyed gleam creep into your eyes because you just know that SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. The explosive quality was there from the very start.
Listen to the way the chords introducing "Jenny Take A Ride" are chomping at the bit to swoop down into the double-time mid-section, or how John Badanjek's thundering bass drum trigger's the ecstatic roll that kicks off "Devil With A Blue Dress On". And the Wheels must have known what they had. Witness the confidence, even cockiness, of telegraphing their punch forever on "Little Latin Lupe Lu", building expectations to fever pitch before hammering down the riff with Jim McCarty's lead lick trailing behind. And nailing it big time.
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