Stillrock


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969)

- Bobby Cochran -- guitar, backing vocals
- Don Preston -- vocals, guitar

- Casey Van Beek  -- bass, backing vocals
- Bob Young
-- drums, backing vocals

 

 

- Bobby and the Midnights (Bobby Cochran)

- Cotton Candy (Bobby Cochran)

- Kelly and the Midnights (Bobby Cochran)

- Kindred (Bobby Cochrane)

- Moccasin (Casey Van Beek)

Don Preston (solo efforts)

- Don Preston and the South

- The Prophets (Bobby Cochran)

- Leon Russell and the Shelter People (Don Preston)

- Shindogs (Don Preston)

- Bob Smith (Don Preston) 

- Steppenwolf (Bobby Cochran)

- The Tractors (Casey Van Beek)

- The Vesuvians (Bobby Cochran)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Stillrock

Company: Enterprsie

Catalog: ENS 1016
Year:
 1969

Country/State: US 

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 14822

Price: SOLD $25.00

 

A rock album released on Stax's Ernterprise subsidiary that was produced by Donald Duck Dunn and Don Nix, and featuring material by Nix and Don Preston ...   sounds like an interesting way to spend a couple of hours ...

 

Before recording as Stillrock (I've also seen it referenced as Still Rock'), guitarist/singer Don Preston, guitarist Bobby Cochran, bassist Casey Van Beek, and drummer Bob Young had recorded and album as Don Preston and the South ("Hot Air Through a Straw"). 

 

A&M SP-4174

 

Perhaps because the name wasn't particularly cool, by 1969 the group had reinvented themselves as Stillrock, signing a contract with Stax's short-lived Enterprise subsidiary.   Co-produced by Donald Duck Dunn and Don Nix, the album showcased some real talent though much of the impact was lost across the eclectic mixture of genres that graced the eleven tracks.  As lead singer, Preston had an extremely likeable voice.  He was far from a great singer, but seemed to know his limitations and made the most of his range and capabilities.  The rest of the band were also pretty impressive with bassist Van Beek turning in a series of impressive performances.  The band was also willing to experiment with some interesting musical mash-ups - check out the country-meets-psych ' Lost City Child'.   And too a large extent that was the big problem here.  It was simply hard to figure out who these guys were.  Bouncing around between country, pop, psych, rock, etc. left you wondering if they were simply auditioning as a wedding act.   That's not to take away from the album's strengths.  A couple of these tunes were really good with lots of mid-'60s radio potential.    'So Hard to Say Goodbye', 'Hiway Fever' and 'Waiting for the Door to Open'.   Unfortunately those tracks were offset by way too many bland, MOR-ish ballads ('I Can Remember') and equally irritating country moves ('Wedding Parade').   Worth hearing especially if you can find a reasonably priced copy.

 

                         

left to right - Don Preston - Bob Young - Bobby Cochran - Casey Van Beek

 

"Stillrock" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) So Hard to Say Goodbye   (Don Nix - Don Preston) - 2:18

Kicked along by what sounded like some nice organ chords and the band's fantastic harmony vocals, 'So Hard to Say Goodbye' was a sweet, mid-'60s slice of top-40 pop that came close to bubblegum status and would not have sounded out of place on an Archies album ('specially if Archie and company had been raised in the South).   rating: **** stars
2.) The Reach of My Memory   (Don Preston) - 3:16

'The Reach of My Memory' was a pretty country-rock ballad that again showcased the band's glistening harmony vocals.  Probably a bit sappy and over-orchestrated for rock fans, but folks with a '60s top-40 sweet tooth will love it.   rating: *** stars
3.) Mighty Time   (Don Nix) - 3:08

A shout-down slice of Southern Gospel-rock, this is the kind of stuff Bonnie and Delaney would have given their right arms up to write and record.   Not sure who handled the lead vocals on this one, but he sounded like on of the guys from Three Dog Night.   rating: *** stars
4 ) Rolling in My Dreams   (Don Nix) - 2:48

Normally a country number like 'Rolling In My Dreams' wouldn't do much for me, but there was something charming about this one ...   it certainly made life sound simpler - which I guess was the case back in 1969.   rating: *** stars
5.) Hiway Fever   (Don Preston) - 2:20

Ever wondered what Bobby Fuller might have sounded like had he hung out with Buddy Holly ?   Well, I'd suggest the bouncy 'Hiway Fever' might give you an inkling or the result.   Nothing short of charming !!!   rating: **** stars

(side 2)

1.) Waiting for the Door to Open   (Don Preston) - 2:55

The breezy pop number 'Waiting for the Door to Open opened side two with another track that had echoes of The Everly Brothers and Bobby Fuller embedded in the grooves.   Lovely acoustic guitar and the TexMex-tinged melody was simply heavenly.   rating: **** stars
2.) 
Wedding Parade   (Don Nix) - 3:12

A straightforward country number with a hokey lyric, other than the need multi-tracked vocals, this one was a total waste to my ears.  rating: ** star
3.)  I Can Remember  (Don Preston) - 2:47

Heartfelt, but ultimately MOR-ish ballad that probably could've been a hit for a country artist.   rating: ** stars
4.)  Lost City Child  (Don Preston - Don Nix) - 2:48

Hum, country-meets-psych; Coral electric sitar-meets-fiddle ...    Sounds weird and it was, but in a cool, '60s fashion.  One of the album's true guilty pleasures with Van Beek turning in one those hyper-melodic bass lines that seems to have disappeared from modern rock.     rating: **** stars
5.)  When Something Is Wrong With My Baby   (Issac Hayes - David Porter) -  3:36

Since they were signed by Stax it only seems right they'd include at least one cover tune and they turn in a nice, reverential version of the Hayes-Porter classic 'When Something Is Wrong With My Baby '.   It won't make you forget the Sam and David hit, but it was still pretty impressive.   rating: *** stars
6.)  She Was a Long Time Ago   (Don Preston) - 2:46

Country-rock with a slightly funky edge; nice harmony vocals, and a cool sitar-like guitar effect.   Anyone who liked early Joe South would probably enjoy this one as well.    rating: *** stars

 

The record received virtually no promotional support from Stax and did little commercially.  Within a short timeframe, they'd called it quits with the various members moving on to other projects.

 

Preston has a small web presence athttp://www.donprestonguitar.com/music

 

 

 

 

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