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. Led 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. Garden Party is both a celebration of summer and all it brings: friends gathering at backyard BBQs, cold beers on a hot porch, 12-foot sunflowers, and an exaltation of the value and respite of a moment of calm; the pleasures of time in the garden to appreciate the beauty of a contorted carrot, or a morning on a stoop watching a hummingbird.
Freedom, contentment, and joy were the sources for the songs; they certainly bring the listener right there. From the soaring guitar solos to the driving rhythms, the elegant pedal steel lines to the organ grooves, Garden Party has a live band’s energy captured in exquisite detail. Garden Party is an invitation, a welcoming hand extended, and a joyous ride. Like all great music, the album taps into the listeners' emotional center and takes them to their happy place – their sunny spot. Recorded at Center for Sound, Light, and Color Therapy in Portland and mixed by John McEntire, the band’s sounds surround and embrace you. Garden Party’s last two tracks feature special guest Sanae Yamada (Moon Duo) who added some synth magic to the final two tracks. Ripley says it best “I always like when an album starts in one place and ends in another” What a beautiful journey it is!