Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Stonebolt - Stonebolt (1978)

Formed in the late 60's, Stonebolt was the brainchild of Vancouver natives guitarist Ray Roper, drummer Brian Lousley and bassist Danny Atchison. Originally called Perth Amboy, they honed their chops playing practically every small venue in the Vancouver area. They later recruited John Webster on keyboards and brought in David Wills, formerly of the Seattle-based group Shaker, on vocals in 1973. They were mainstays of the BC bar circuit when in 1976, they recorded demos (featuring new vocalist, David Wills) with legendary producer Elliot Mazur in San Francisco, whose previous credits included the likes of Janis Joplin, Journey and Neil Young. They were noticed by Walter Stewart in 1977, the road manager for Johnny Rivers, and signed to a deal with Parachute Records.

They released their self-titled debut the following year, releasing two singles, one of which cracked Billboard's Top 30. Playing places as far abroad as Osaka, LA, and practically every point in between helped gain the group notoriety and landed them in the initial balloting for that year's Grammy's. Between 1978 and 1982, the band released three more albums in the hopes of repeating the success of their first album. Though the albums did chart in Canada, the band's lack of presence in the US prompted an inevidable split in early 1983. Members later worked with Red Rider and Trama.

This, their debut album, is a mixed affair. With slight touches of country in places, most of the material here is a bit too vanilla for my tastes. There are some highlights, such as the edgier "The Shadow", but ultimately the material comes across flat and faceless. The band's later releases are noticably more dynamic and will likely be featured here in the coming weeks. For now, check out this clean vinyl rip and decide for yourself, awful or wonderful?


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Alex said...

I love this one, but isn't a song missing, namely "Stay in Line"?

And what's with the sequence of the tracks?

On it's different

And by the way, here's another request:

Trillion - Clear Approach

Thanx again!!

gary_lankford said...

I guess I like 'vanilla', but there is nothing 'plain' about this one. Occasionally, I hear 'Kansas', but most often 'Pure Prairie League', a favorite of mine from the 70's. A fine album!

Thanks again, J.