Sidewinders were a band from Arizona that started out, on their debut
Cuacha (Sam Jacinto, 1987), with a
revivalist blend of garage-blues and folk-rock.
That sound began to coalesce on
Witchdoctor (Mammoth, 1989). The blues, folk and pop traits of their
catchy tunes, David Slutes' macho tenor and Richard Hopkins' neurotic guitar
positioned the band somewhere between compatriotes
Green On Red and
Gin Blossoms, and occasionally struck the
domestic pathos of Tom Petty.
Auntie Ramos' Pool Hall (Mammoth, 1990) elaborates on the same premises,
albeit through a more forceful approach (Doesn't Anyone Believe).
Forced for legal reasons to change their name, the Sidewinders became the
Sand Rubies. The first album under the new moniker,
Sand Rubies (Atlas, 1993), does not considerably alter the course
of the Sidewinders' delicate roots-rock (Guns In The Churchyard
sidetracks towards a poetic country).
The band dissolved after the EP Goodbye (Atlas, 1993).
Rich Hopkins started a prolific but not very exciting solo career.
Personality Crisis (Houses In Motion, 1992), with a number of vocalists
lending their voice, was followed by
Mumblypeg (Brake Out, 1993), credited to
Dirt Town (Brake Out, 1994) and
Dumpster Of Love (San Jacinto, 1995)
wear his Neil Young obsession all over the place.
The instrumental acoustic Paraguay (San Jacinto, 1995) was a good
idea but not fully developed.
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