If you know anything at all about Tucson, Arizona's Sand Rubies, you're probably aware that they evolved from a group called the Sidewinders, a critically renown "college rock" outfit that offered a mild but noticeable No-Depression inflection to their meager but earnest mix. As a matter of fact, you can check out one of their albums on for size right here (just scroll down a tad and you'll see it).
With little to no fanfare, the 'winders reneged on their original moniker and traded it in for the Sand Rubies, upon learning that the Sidewinders tag also belonged to another American band. In 1993, the Rubies signed to the major label affiliate Atlas Records and released a self-titled disk, much in the Sidewinders vein that largely went unnoticed in the grunge-era hoopla. Calling it a day in '94, a couple of low circulation posthumous Sand Rubies albums were released - a live document, and later a covers CD on the presumably homegrown imprint Gestrichen Records, Release the Hounds, which this post concerns.
Neither the Sidewinders or Rubies were what you would consider especially spirited (at least on record), but even though Hounds is par for the course, most of what they attempt is convincing, if not little shambolic at times. The remakes here are fairly straightforward and faithful to the originals, but what really reeled me in were their takes on the Records "Starry Eyes," Neil Young's late '80s anthem "Rockin' in the Free World," and of course, I just couldn't continue on my journey in life without hearing the Sand Rubies rendering of Spirit's "Nature's Way." And neither can you.
01 - when the time comes
02 - (i'm not your) stepping stone
03 - memories are made of this
04 - nature's way
05 - all along the watchtower
06 - you're gonna miss me
07 - i should have known better
08 - grey riders
09 - little black egg
10 - starry eyes
11 - rockin' in the free world
12 - signed d.c.
Music of the Sphere: Total Slacker, Gap Dream, White Caves, Mirror Travel, Other Lovers, Magic Trick, Gorgeous Bully, Hunters, The Fratellis, Davis Fetter - Many thanks to the bands, labels, agents, p.r. cos., miscellaneous shills, anonymous tippers, under assistant west coast promotion persons, and hostingpostin...
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