Ridin' the Storm Out is the third studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1973. It peaked at number 171 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1981, and reaching platinum status in 1989. It was the first album to feature Mike Murphy on vocals. The sessions started out with Kevin Cronin, but he left the band before the album was finished, due to creative differences. The title track would later become a hit for the band on their live album, after Cronin had returned to the band. Cronin's original version of "Son of a Poor Man" is featured on the compilation albums A Decade of Rock and Roll: 1970-1980, and The Essential REO Speedwagon. "Son of a Poor Man" and "Ridin' the Storm Out" were featured on the live album Live: You Get What You Play For. The studio version of "Ridin' the Storm Out" with Cronin on vocals was released on the compilation Box Set Series in 2014, and is also available as a downloadable track in the music video game Rock Band.
The song refers to the band being stuck in a harsh winter blizzard after a show in Boulder, Colorado at a bar called Tulagi's (now closed).