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.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back in the studio

Chris and I got together this past Saturday. Finally.

We've got several new songs taking shape, but we focused on a piece written several years ago by Chris. He's an incredibly prolific songwriter and we were going through his back catalog a few months ago when he played something that showcased a side of him that I hadn't heard before.

Those are the best surprises.

He burned me a copy and I've been listening to it incessantly. Great song, and there was more in there that I could hear.

It's the collaboration that I love. I can meet with Chris and talk my way through what I hear. Somewhere between what I say, sing, or hum, Chris will pick up a guitar and start noodling. And we go back and forth like that until that unmistakable Stillwater vibe starts to creep over the piece.

And when Chris falls into writing mode, he's unstoppable.

He tracks rhythm parts. He tracks lead parts. He tracks bass parts. And he tracks drum parts.

Everything to rough out the ideas that are flying back and forth. "Let me track it now, 'cause you know I'm going to forget it later," he'll say.

And in that way we'll catch those moments of lightning that we can build on in sessions to come.

Issac's on calendar to lay down his drums in mid-October. Chris and I are hoping to squeeze in another arranging session before then. So much music to work through!

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