On Garden Party, Rose City Band’s country psychedelic rock evokes the wide-open spaces of the American west and free spirits who call it home. Lead by acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Ripley Johnson, Rose City Band are some of the best players in contemporary rock: pedal steel guitarist Barry Walker, keyboardist Paul Hasenberg, bassist Dewey Mahood (aka Plankton Wat), drummer Dustin Dybvig, and features Sanae Yamada of Moon Duo on Synthesizer. At its inception Rose City Band focused on what songwriter Johnson calls “porch music”.
Recorded largely at Center for Sound, Light, and Color Therapy in Portland and mixed by John McEntire, Garden Party features guest appearances by Moon Duo bandmates John Jeffrey on drums and Sanae Yamada on synths, as well as Rose City Band live performers Hasenberg on keyboards and Walker on pedal steel.
With the musicians in his life in mind,Ripley’s porch has opened up for each player to step into. Despite being tracked primarily as a solo endeavor the recordings capture the twists and bends of a fully realized ensemble, and in a nod to bands such as the Grateful Dead it doesn’t stop there. “The songs won’t really be finished until we play them on the road,” says Johnson.
Like all great music, Garden Party taps into the listener’s emotional center and takes them to their happy place – their sunny spot. The album is an invitation to recalibrate, a joyous ride where the band’s sounds surround and embrace you. Ripley says it best: “I always like when an album starts in one place, and ends in another” What a beautiful journey it is.