In the summer of 1969 John Dawson was looking to showcase his songs while Jerry Garcia was looking to practice his brand new pedal steel guitar. The two played coffee houses and small clubs initially and the music they made became the nucleus for a band - the New Riders of the Purple Sage. The New Riders played extensively with the Grateful Dead including the Trans-Canadian Festival with Janis Joplin, The Band and other American and Canadian artists like Ian and Sylvia. In 1971 when Jerry Garcia stepped down as steel guitar player and was replaced by Buddy Cage, New Riders emerged as a fully independent unit. An excitingly creative band with a special brand of music - sweet country harmonies with pulsing rock rhythms.