Jim Wurster bailed SkyRider out of jail, amongst other things.
Some even say Jim Wurster himself pulled SkyRider from the mangled wreckage of that near-fatal accident in Mexico which left SkyRider in a ten day coma, but that’s the stuff legends are made of.
One thing is for certain, when Bud Berning made his solo debut as SkyRider, deep in the swamps of Florida, he called upon Jim Wurster to bring out that old guitar he swore he’d never play again. He asked Jim to rerecord his Reagan Era critique piece “Masters of Deception”, a song that spoke so powerfully to Berning – as it was just as befitting in of the times of the Bush Era – that he featured it as the only fully worded song on the instrumental album, 47:34, a haunting glimpse into the shattered mind of one trapped by the succubus arms of a coma. The single gained notoriety within underground circles and was a catalyst in the formation of the acclaimed alternative hip hop group, Sole and the Skyrider Band.
Now with years of production experience and a strong rapport with his band, multi-instrumental virtuoso William Ryan Fritch and hammersmith John Wagner, Berning has once again united with folk soothsayer Jim Wurster – this time for a full album. Far removed from the murky beginnings in the swamps of Florida, after many years wandering the west – settled in Cheyenne country, an album distinguishingly western. Not Country, but Western….
Hired Hand is far from the glitchy beginnings of SkyRider. The psychedelic soundscapes remain, but the waves of hallucinations are over and now a strong, yet, calm sense of empowerment has taken it’s place. A sublime backdrop for Wurster’s foreboding words of lost love and the impending ‘Dark Skies’ that may await us all in the near future. The lyrics are simple, yet poignant for these complicated and bleak times. This is the first album by the Skyrider team without the help of synthesizers or drum machines. Instead of relying on the beat-heavy programming they’ve used in the past, the band pooled their talents organically to make an album that showcases their collective love of classic rock, country and folk.