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Manassas: Pieces

Manassas where the band led by Stephen Stills that he dabbled with during the down time of CSN&Y. They released a few albums before disappearing for good as Stills continued on and off with his main band and eventual slide into drug addiction. It's a real shame that Stills life went down that path, as he was always a formidable guitar player and solid vocalist, especially evident on this collection of rarities, and leftovers from the Manassas vault. Manassas (also featuring Chris Hillman from The Byrds & Fabulous Burrito Brothers) played a mix of rock, blues, rootsy bluegrass, pop and a touch of what you might call prog thanks to some extended instumentation, and though Pieces is just that, a collection of 'pieces' from the band, and not the best place for those investigating this band to start with, its release certainly does bring the music of this long forgotten band back into the spotlight. Songs such as "Witching Hour", "Lies" (featuring guest guitar from Joe Walsh), "Tan Sola Y Triste" (which has a great Santana vibe),"Fit to Be Tied", and "High and Dry" are all gritty rockers featuring some stinging guitar licks from Stills, swirling organ, and plenty of pedal steel and slide guitar to give that slight Southern/Country rock edge. These are surrounded by some ballads like "Sugar Babe" and "Like a Fox", as well as many brief 'pieces' that can be classified as studio jams and unfinished songs, the best of the lot being the wild bluegrass jam "Panhandle Rag" featuring some smoking fiddle and banjo dueling.

Pieces is ultimately a mixed bag of leftovers from a band that had much more to offer than is what's contained on this collection. Your best bet if you are interested in investigating this band is to check out their first two releases, both of which are available on CD, then dip into this one to see what never made it onto those albums.

Track Listing
1. Witching Hour 5:12
2. Sugar Babe 4:19
3. Lies 3:07
4. My Love Is A Gentle Thing 1:23
5. Like A Fox 2:58
6. Word Game 1:35
7. Tan Sola Y Triste 1:23
8. Fit To Be Tied 3:49
9. Love And Satisfy 1:57
10. High And Dry 5:52
11. Panhandle Rag 1:58
12. Uncle Pen 1:53
13. Do You Remember The Americans 1:49
14. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke [And Loud, Loud Music] 2:16
15. I Am My Brother 3:24

Added: October 3rd 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Rhino Records
Hits: 2288
Language: english

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