Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

New Riders of the Purple Sage: New Riders of the Purple Sage [Columbia, 1971]
Many find the weakness of John "Marmaduke" Dawson's singing an a priori turnoff, but I'm perversely attached to it. This diminutive, definitely mild-mannered c&w fantast betrays (I said betrays) none of the manipulative self-regard that marks the true wimp, and his voice suits the folkie-hippie casualness of the band's "country"-"rock." A feckless myth, to be sure--trucking women and heroic dopers, gentle aspiration and mysterious evil. But a charming and tuneful one. B+