David Nelson’s long strange trip dates back just as far as the Grateful Dead’s. Nelson, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter were all pals from the Dead’s humble beginnings in Palo Alto. He was there for the acid tests, he saw the San Francisco scene blow up only a few years later, and of course cofounded New Riders of the Purple Sage with Garcia and John “Marmaduke” Dawson.
It all started back in 1960 when the folk craze was happening. People didn't know the difference between real folk music and popular folk music. The whole thing was pushed by the commercial success of groups like The Kingston Trio. Those were folk songs, but they were commercialized and popularized so they sounded like pop music. Much more compared to the Appalachian versions of those same songs.
It’s a curious sight; the art on the cover is by Stanley Mouse. The liner notes include songs written by David Nelson and Robert Hunter. The first song clocks in at nearly eight minutes. When I opened the envelope that contained “Where I Come From” I admit I was a bit puzzled. Surely this had to be a best of compilation or a live recording? However to my surprise, it was neither, it was a new studio album from the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
There is a new trend in the music industry today, bands which have been broken up for decades reforming suddenly in order to cash in on the pocketbooks and prosperity of their baby-boomer generation fans.