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.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Flashback '96: Man of Wax

This is my favorite song off Adam. It's our closer on the record, that final, lingering soundscape.

Listening to to Issac's opening martial snare, my cousin's violin, and the vaguely middle-eastern flavor of the verses really hints at the amazing possibilities that continue to exist in our collaborative relationship.

And then you get Chris' controlled feedback as we move into the pre-chorus. And then the vocal harmonies. But the thing that puts this song over the top is the extended guitar solo through the outro, the way Chris blends his pentatonic wah-wah chops with other exotic scales. And the syncopated drum work that Issac brings into the mix is just . . . it's amazing.

This was my favorite part of our live show. Just grooving with Sam on bass and listening to Issac and Chris take this song into the stratosphere.

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