Mitch Ryder Returns w/New LP in Feb.

Sock it to ‘em, Mitch:
First US release in three decades.

 

By Blurt Staff

 
Mitch Ryder – the Motor City maniac who, with his Detroit Wheels, notched hit
after hit in the ‘60s, including “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Devil With a Blue Dress
On / Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Sock It to Me, Baby,” and remains one of rock’s
true godfathers – will have his first Americal release in nearly 30 years. Due
Feb. 13 is The Promise on his own Michigan Broadcasting Corporation
label,.

 

The disc’s dozen tracks feature eleven originals plus a live
cover for the Motown classic “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” Ryder teamed
up with acclaimed producer Don Was (a fellow Detroit native) for the sessions. The two met
when Was worked in the studio where Ryder was making his 1980 release Naked
But Not Dead
. Although they’ve worked together over the years
(“Brokenhearted” comes from one of Was’ annual “Concert of Colors” in Detroit), this was the
first time they collaborated on an entire album. Ryder reveals that Was didn’t
ask to see his lyrics before recording the songs and told Ryder that the only
other artist similarly treated was Bob Dylan, which Ryder found a high
compliment. Ryder also raved how Was was “able to bring the real exact sound of
my voice as it exists today without using any gimmicks.”

 

Recording in Los Angeles’ historic Henson Studios (formerly
A&M Records and originally Charles Chaplin’s studios), Was used his team players
(keyboardist Jamie Mahuberac, bassist Reggie McBride, guitarist Randy Jacobs
and drummer James Gadsen) to give Ryder all that needed – whether it was an
explosive guitar solo or a soulful groove. Ryder re-did one of his older songs,
“My Heart Belongs To Me,” because he realized correctly that this band could
give it the proper Stax sound that he wanted.

 

While The Promise is Ryder’s first American-released
record since his 1983 John Mellencamp-produced Never Kick a Sleeping Dog,
he has been a busy musician over the years. He has a very devoted European
following, especially in Germany,
where a 1978 TV performance catapulted him to stardom. He has released over a
dozen CDs in Germany
and regularly puts on 2½ hour concerts. “I don’t have to do any of my American
hits. They don’t care,” Ryder states. “It really makes me happy to have that
alternative career.”

 
The Promise is just one of Ryder’s several current projects. His just
published memoir, Devils & Blue Dresses: My Wild Ride as a Rock and Roll
Legend
chronicles his colorful career – and how he suffered through
addiction, bankruptcy and more – and survived to talk about it all. In addition
to the new book and album, Ryder is working on stage musical that he describes
as “intensely emotional” and like “a Russian novel.”

 
An energetic 66-year-old, Ryder doesn’t think “time is an issue that should be
treated so seriously.” He just strives to be productive and continue to grow as
an artist. “I don’t feel old,” he proclaims, “I feel great about what I am trying
to accomplish.”
 

 

 

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