Stephen Stills mines archives for two new releases
By Gary Graff
DETROIT (Billboard) - As he continues to work on his own boxed set retrospective, Stephen Stills has mined past recordings for a pair of fall archival releases.
On September 22 the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will release "Manassas -- Pieces," a 15-song collection of outtakes and rarities -- "The bits and pieces we were silly enough to leave off," Stills writes in the liner notes. Manassas, the country rock band he formed in 1971 with Chris Hillman, of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, released two albums: a self-titled two-disc set in 1972 and "Down the Road" in 1973.
"Pieces" includes alternate versions of two "Down the Road" songs, "Do You Remember the Americans" and "Lies," the latter featuring Joe Walsh on guitar. It also features Manassas versions of "Word Game" and "Sugar Babe," which first appeared on "Stephen Stills 2" in 1971, as well as "Like a Fox," which features a then-fledgling Bonnie Raitt on backing vocals.
In the "Pieces" liner notes, Stills writes fondly of Manassas as "the first steel-guitar-driven country/rock band that any of us can remember ... Whatever else has been said about this time of immense creativity, what Manassas turned out was a collection of material that remains the precursor of virtually all of the Nashville country rock productions that followed during the next decade. The energy is unrepentant, the creativity irrepressible, and the value of these recordings irrefutable."
Stills will follow "Pieces" with the October 27 release of "Live at Shepherd's Bush," a CD/DVD set recorded and filmed last fall at a Stills solo show in England. The collection features both solo acoustic and full-band sets, as well as songs from Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young), Manassas, the Stills-Young Band and Stills' solo recordings, along with covers of Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" and Tom Petty's "Wrong Thing to Do."
There's no word on when Stills' boxed set will be released or of plans for a recording of him jamming with Jimi Hendrix in 1968. Stills' last studio album, "Man Alive!," came out in 2005. He, David Crosby and Graham Nash are recording a covers album with producer Rick Rubin.
(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)
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