We Are Only Riders

GR 702CD GR 702CD

2009's We Are Only Riders is more than just a "various artists" compilation. It's a musical collective of artists who have come together to interpret (and in some cases, complete) unfinished skeletal works by Jeffrey Lee Pierce, an artist they were friends with or whose work they admired. Artists featured on the album include Nick Cave, who has done his own solo track, as well as dueting with Debbie Harry, and playing piano on Debbie's solo track, and added backing vocals on the Cypress Grove track. Mick Harvey contributed to two of the Nick Cave tracks and has recorded a solo track. Barry Adamson plays bass on the Nick Cave solo track and also on the Mark Lanegan solo track, who has also recorded a duet with Isobel Campbell. Kid Congo Powers contributed to Nick Cave's and Lydia Lunch's tracks. About three years ago while clearing out his attic, Tony Cmelik (aka Cypress Grove) came across a bag of dusty old cassettes. He started to sort through them and found one marked "JLP Songs." As soon as he put it on he remembered what it was; Tony & Jeffrey rehearsing material for the album they made together (Ramblin' Jeffrey Lee and Cypress Grove with Willie Love). The album was initially going to contain country songs, but it gradually evolved into a full-blown blues album. It was recorded on an old boombox in Tony's bedroom, just the two of them on acoustic guitars. The sound quality was terrible, but good enough to make out the songs, which were excellent. Tony thought it would be fascinating to hear how different artists might interpret these songs as well as other found Jeffrey Lee Piece material from this most basic and crude of templates, the cassette. Other artists include: The Raveonettes, David Eugene Edwards, The Sadies, Crippled Black Phoenix, Johnny Dowd, and Dave Alvin.