The Nadas

REVIEW: The Nadas “Come Along For The Ride”


The Nadas – Come Along For The Ride

This folk-rock band is out of Des Moines, Iowa. The band came together initially in 1995 & earned a successful following at colleges. Their focus is often songs about life’s obstacles from a working-class band following & creating a new nostalgia. Things as they happen now. Road trips, journeys, 45 rpm records & other adventures.

The band’s latest CD is their 12th & was produced by Alex Dezen. Come Along For The Ride (Drops Aug 11-Authentic Records) features a music jambalaya of 70s & 90s alternative tasty musical styles. 10-mature tracks that despite being together for about 30 years maintain their style & approach with expertise.

The Nadas

Following in a rich vein of Americana that wasn’t invented by these artists but was highly developed by them, the Old 97s, Canada’s Blue Rodeo, Big Back 40 & the C. Gibbs Band. Following those footprints this band is obviously exceptional with their vocals & a rousing musical display that in some cases manages to miraculously include the kind of hooks that top 25 singles once possessed.

“The Other Side of the 45,” for me is nostalgia because growing up I was enthusiastic about the hit 45 record I bought, but equally excited about the flipside. A nostalgia that is lost on younger folks.

Some tunes are fairly average but even those have melody & charm. The Nadas are consistent in their material & that says a lot about their creativity & musical perspective. There’s some clever wordplay & if I’m not mistaken it sounds like these guys didn’t just slap this material together. It sounds well-thought-out.

With a tune like “All Fired Up,” & “This Mess Is My Masterpiece,” the players track the inventive performance style of The Bare-Naked Ladies with a pinch of Wilco. Nice work.

“18th And Center Street,” however, is sung with the same tonally deep voice that’s similar in mood to the tunes of the exceptional band Balloon who recorded these in New Orleans in 1992: “Why Did It Take So Long,” “Transfixion,” “Now That the Thrill’s Gone” & “Bellevue.” The Nadas apply the same gentle, expressive guitar notes with finesse & on this track hit all the metal milk bottles down at the carnival.

But then, they do it again. The title track “Come Along For The Ride,” is equally silky on guitar with well-articulated vocals & presentation. Nothing veers off into controversy, suggestiveness, or novelty. Each tune is carved carefully, individually.

Highlights – “Other Side of the 45,” “Still Getting Used To It All,” “All Fired Up,” “18th And Center Street,” “Come Along For The Ride,” “One Thing At A Time” & “No Longer Apart,” (features Emma Butterworth & Mitchell Walsmith).

Musicians – Mike Butterworth (guitar/vocals), Jason Walsmith (guitar/vocals), Brian Duffey (bass), Brandon Stone (drums) & Perry Ross (keys/percussion).

Color photo courtesy of Cullen Powers. CD @ Amazon +

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