Staton Brothers Band, The


Band members               Related acts

- Hal Atkinson -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1971-72)

- Donny Mederos -- bass, backing vocals (1971-72)

- Jeffrey Staton (aka Jeff Jones) -- vocals, guitar (1971-72)

- Michael Staton -- vocals, guitar (1971-72)

 

 

 

- The Blues Defenders (Donny Mederos)

- Mike Staton (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  The Staton Brothers Band

Company: Epic 

Catalog: KE 31797
Year: 1972

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: promo radio sticker airplay suggestion sticker on back cover; sticker tear on front cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5465

Price: $20.00

 

For a band signed by Clive Davis to a major label, this San Francisco-based outfit is pretty darned obscure ...  Good luck funding much in the way of bibliographical information (what I'm showing is taken from the liner notes on their LP), let alone an in-depth review of their LP.

 

Their line up consisting of brothers Jeffrey and Michael Staton, rhythm guiatrist Hal Atkinson, and bassist Donny Mederos.  Produced by John Simon, 1972's cleverly-titled "The Staton Brothers Band" made it clear these guys had been listening to quite a bit of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  That's not meant to be a criticism since I'm a bug CSN&Y fans.  The good news was that several of these tracks were quite good in an imitative way.  Largely written by Jeffrey Staton, 'S.F. To La', 'Take It Back' and 'I Need To Be Alone' showcased lots of strumming acoustic guitars, catchy melodies, and four-part harmony vocals.  Much of the album could have been mistaken for CN&Y outtakes.  Elsewhere their cover of Stephen Stills 'Four Days Gone' was very nice.  Speaking of Stills, much of the album borrowed heavily from his Manassas-styled Latin influences - lots of Latin percussion.  Okay, now for the negatives.  Whichever Staton brother handled the lead vocals had a penchant for kicking into a wailing falsetto when trying to punch home a lyric.  I'll call the results an acquired taste - check out the performance on their cover of the obscure Joni Mitchell track 'Night In the City'.  Elsewhere the band's detours into sensitive singer/songwriter territory didn't do nearly as much for me.  'April' and their cover of The Beatles 'Mother Nature's Son' were pretty, but largely forgettable.  

 

The band apparently undertook some touring in support of the LP, but presumably based on lackluster sales, never managed to record a follow-up and quickly called it quits.

 

"The Staton Brothers Band" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) S.F. To La   (Jeffrey Staton) - 3:05

2.) Take It Back    (Jeffrey Staton) - 3:03

3.) April    (Jeffrey Staton) - 4:00

4.) No One Listens   (Jeffrey Staton)  -- 3:14

5.) I Need To Be Alone    (Jeffrey Staton) - 3:21

6.) Four Days Gone   (Stephen Stills) - 4:22

 

(side 2)
1.) Mobile Blues   (Mickey Newbury) - 3:04

2.) One Man Woman    (Jeffrey Staton) - 2:10

3.) Mother Nature's Son   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:59

4.) Ooh Did I Miss Her   (Jeffrey Staton)  - 2:42

5.) Night In the City   (Joni Mitchell) - 4:04

6.) Bridge Of Your Faith   (Jeffrey Staton) - 5:56

 

Mederos remains active in music, including playing in the California-based The Blues Defenders.

 

As Jeff Jones, Jeffrey Staton enjoyed some success as a writer and a studio musician supporting the likes of Alabama, Stephen Bishop and Art Garfunkel.

 

This write-up had only been up on the web for a couple of days when I got the following email from the group's production company:

 

 

Thought you might want to update your records a bit about the Staton Brothers and where they are now - your information is a bit inaccurate about why the record did not sell.
 
First during the time the Staton Brothers record was released there was a major record strike on the west coast and as a result, no distribution.  The record climbed the charts in the SF Bay area, but no one was able to get a copy of it.  The records sat undistributed for over two months. 
 
Yes, the band did tour all over the US and focused largely on the east coast.  When they returned from the tour, no records had been distributed.
 
Jeff Staton who is now Jeff Jones went on to not only tour with Stephen Bishop and Art Garfunkel, and now has mainly focused on writing.  He wrote several songs for Alabama - Calling All Angels - which went gold, Brooks & Dunn, and is currently writing and composing in Nashville, TN.
 
Mike Staton also lives in Nashville, recorded several CD's, and was the driving force behind the local Rockabilly Radio Show in Nashville. 
 
Donny Mederos not only plays with the Blues Defenders, he is also the bass player for Mississippi Blues Man Johnny Rawls on the west coast.
 
Thank you for posting the information about the boys.

August 2008

 

 

And then this showed up:

 

Hello Bad Cat folks,

 

Mike Staton here.... I.haven't used that name in over three decades. Staton was an adopted name.  My brother Jeff and I changed it after too many people in the media or otherwise mis-pronounced the name: Stratton, Stanton, Staten, Station, Statler etc.

 

The reason we sounded like CSN is that we were the opening act for the Buffalo Springfield on the west coast leg of their For What Its Worth Tour back in 1966. Jeff and I tuned Stills and Neil Young's guitars (like roadies) before they went onstage. Richie handled his own!

 

They were in their 20's and we were teens. We literally became them. Is it any wonder we sounded like them?  They let us hang out and we eventually got invited to LA. to continue our apprenticeship.  There we met Chip Douglas, producer of The Monkees who brought the Staton Brothers smack dab into the Monkees world of turmoil. We recorded with, toured with, and were managed by The Monkees management from 1967 to 1974. [We toured with the 1987 Monkees World Tour as lead and rhythm guitarists.]  

 

Our biggest success as the Staton Brothers. was our years with Stephen Bishop. We hooked up with Steve as we were about to be booted from Epic Records. He was a struggling songwriter and we needed material. A mutual friend, Leah Kunkel (Cass Elliot's sister) brought us together in her kitchen. We met, had lunch and started a relationship that continues to this day. We recorded and played on most of Stephen Bishop's hits, including, Save it For a Rainy Day, On and On, Animal House soundtrack, Tootsie, China Syndrome, and many more. We did five major USA/ Canada tours with Steve as well. We were the opening act for Fleetwood Mac, Linda Rondstadt, Randy Newman and Bread. We played Saturday Night Live when John Belushi was a newbie (March 1977).

 

Our names seldom appeared on liner notes. We didn't care! It didn't seem important at the time. We are truly obscure in that department.  One day we looked at each other and said, let's change our names. Nobody knows us anyway!   Jeff became Jeff Jones. I chose the name London from Jack London, famous book writer from yesteryear. We both have had our successes as London and Jones.

Jeff lived in LA with Stephen Bishop for over 25 years and remained a bachelor. He has MS and is fairly invalid in 2010.  We are now both living in the Nashville, TN area.  I was married for 17 years and have 2 kids Ruby and Johnny Ray London. (12 and 14) I front a Rockabilly Trio Billy London and the Lucky Dice. I've been recovering from an accident for two years now in which I was confined to a wheelchair. I was run over by a VW Bus which broke both my legs.

 

The Staton Brothers will be spending Xmas and New Years together in Nashville basically alone, and that's the way we want it to be.

 

ps

I was the one doing the stupid "high singing".  FYI: Both Jeff and I HATE that album and have tried to bury it. John Simon the producer, sucked.  Jimmy Messina was tabbed as our 1st choice as producer but he was busy putting together Loggins and Messina

.

Best Regards,

Michael Staton

aka

Billy London  (Billy is my actual birth name; Mike was my middle name)

December 2010

 

 


 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION