Manassas Biography

The multi-talented Stephen Stills (3 January 1945, Dallas, Texas, USA) founded this highly regarded unit in October 1971, during sessions for a projected solo album. Chris Hillman (b. 4 December 1942, Los Angeles, California, USA; guitar/vocals), Al Perkins (b. 18 January 1944, Texas, USA; pedal steel guitar), both formerly of the Flying Burrito Brothers, and percussionist Jo Lala joined the singer’s regular touring band of Paul Harris (b. New York, USA; keyboards), Calvin ‘Fuzzy’ Samuels (b. Antigua; bass) and Dallas Taylor (b. 1948, Denver, Colorado, USA; drums), although Samuels was latterly replaced by Kenny Passarelli. The group’s disparate talents were best displayed in their remarkably accomplished live shows and on Manassas, a diverse double-album selection brilliantly encompassing country, rock, R&B and Latin styles. The septet displayed a remarkable unity of purpose despite the contrasting material, a cohesion which endowed the set with its lasting quality. Down The Road could not quite match the standards set by the debut and Manassas was brought to an end in September 1973, with the sudden departure of Hillman, Perkins and Harris for the ill-fated Souther Hillman Furay Band.

Many mourn the fact that Stills seemed at his most creative when fronting this band. Those who were lucky enough to have seen them perform during their brief career can testify that they were indeed a spectacular rock/country/blues band, with Stills playing at his absolute peak. Their debut album is a must for any serious rock music fan.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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