Band members Related acts
- Ric Ballas - guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion, backing
- Dave McCarty -- vocals, drums, percussion (1974)
- none known
Rating: 5 stars *****
Company: Stone Harbour Records
Catalog: 398 A/B
Country/State: Youngstown, Ohio
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: includes band photo signed by Ric Ballas
GEMM catalog ID: 5142
First off, anyone looking for a well-played collection of technically sophisticated and mind altering music is likely to be appalled by 1974's "Emerges". That said, this is one of those rarities where the hype is actually well deserved and probably doesn't really do the record justice. To be blunt, this album is so bad that it is actually good !!!
Based in Youngstown, Ohio, multi-instrumentalist Ric Ballas and singer/drummer Dave McCarty comprised the Stone Harbour line-up. I've got no idea what their backgrounds were, let alone how the pair came together, but judging by their album, the results of their collaboration were pretty wild. Released on their own Stone Harbor label, the album was apparently a vanity project with Ballas and McCarty producing, engineering, arranging, writing all ten tracks and handling all of the vocals and instrumentation. Musically material like 'Grains of Sand' (complete with end of song aural meltdown), 'Summer Magic Is Gone' and the instrumental 'Thanitos' (sounding like a surf band on a truly nasty acid trip) offered up a pure, unadulterated set of low-fi mid-1970s psych. Thoroughly toasted, tracks like 'You'll Be a Star', 'Rock & Roll Puzzle' and 'Still Like That Rock & Roll' offered up heavy doses of acid soaked lyrics, sprinkled with barely in-tune vocals, oddball time signatures, screeching guitar, some of the lamest synthesizers you've ever heard and a weird array of sound and production effects. That probably didn't sound like the makings of a classic album, but the duo's sense of enthusiasm and commitment somehow pulled it all together overcoming the host of technical and performance limitations that should have killed this beast. While their performances never matched that enthusiasm (on much of the album it sounded like the pair were playing different songs at the same time), that goofy, low-tech approach certainly added to the album's under-achieving charm. ON a personal note, anyone got a clue why the pair thanked Uriah Heep's Ken Hensley in the liner notes "we made it" ?
"Emerges" track listing:
1.) You'll Be a Star (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 4:30
2.) Rock & Roll Puzzle (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 3:06
3.) Grains of Sand (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 5:04
4.) Summer Magic Is Gone (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 3:08
5.) Stones Throw (instrumental) (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 1:20
2.) Still Like That Rock & Roll (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 5:13
3.) Ride (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty)- 4:30
4.) Dying To Love You (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 3:33
5.) Workin for the Queen (Ric Ballas - Dave McCarty) - 3:00
As an added note, this copy was purchased on eBay from Ballas himself. I never bothered to ask, but Ballas must have kept a small stash of copies since he seems to have sold a series of them on-line during mid-2005. He was also kind enough to include a signed photo of the duo.
I've never heard it, but there's a second LP entitled "Re-Emerges". Released by the Void label (catalog # 20), it's supposedly pretty henious, with the band simply destroying their legacy with newly re-recorded versions of their 1974 efforts.
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