Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kids and Dobros

I had an amazing time with Chris this past Sunday. We were originally planning to lay down the drum tracks for Longshot, but Issac couldn't make it out. He had a prior commitment with his daughter.

You know what's really amazing? Chris and Issac have sired one child apiece, both daughters. I am fortunate enough to be the father of four daughters. We have no sons between the three of us.

Sam does, he's got a couple of boys, and a daughter who just happens to be a pretty rad little drummer herself.

But back to Issac and his daughter. He wouldn't break his commitment to her. That's the most amazing thing ever and I can't thank him enough for being that lesson for her and for us.

With all that he has going on, I was pretty sure Chris would cancel the session. But he didn't. He sent me a message:

"We can always crank out something new"

I'm so glad he said that.

I hope that you've had moments like the one we had. It's just the most amazing, most miraculous thing in my experience to sit with a friend and some musical instruments with no idea of what you're going to do- and then walk away two or three hours later with incredible music. Music that wasn't there before. Music that didn't exist at all, and wouldn't have come into existence except that we were allowed to come together and birth it.

As part of the process, Chris put his Tele in my hands, the first electric guitar I have held in twenty years. The fingertips of my fret hand are still sore. And then he picked up his Dobro and slide:

And we played, sometimes dissonant, sometimes rootsy. When we hit on something hot, Chris would roll tape or run over to his drum kit, or both.

At the end of the session we had some passable recordings. I put them on repeat in my car for the 70 mile drive home to Long Beach and worked out some melody ideas.

Hoping to share soon!

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