album release: The Stephen Stanley Band – LIVE STATIC ROOTS

Available from July 10th 2020

The Stephen Stanley Band - LIVE STATIC ROOTS

This is some brilliant news!

Today we would actually be kicking off the celebration of the fifth annual Static Roots Festival.

Anyway, there is still good reason to celebrate with today's great live album release, recorded at the Static Roots Festival 2018! The record absolutely captures the magic of the most beautiful night.

Thanks to René Geilenkirchen for recording this fascinating moment of live music at the Static Roots Festival:

Here's what the press release says:

It was truly one of the greatest musical pleasures of my life.

It started with an unexpected email from Dietmar Leibecke, the one-man tour-de-force behind Oberhausen, Germany’s Static Roots Festival. We were in the early stages of dreaming up a European tour behind our record Jimmy & the Moon, and when Dietmar got in touch, the deal was done. We’d start a 3 week run through Europe at the 2018 Static Roots Festival...

The band for this trip would consist of Chris Bennett on lead guitar, Chris Brown handling both the keyboard and bass duties, Hadley McCall Thackston on vocals and Michael Mormecha an astounding drummer (and producer) from just outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Then a further message came in from Dietmar asking how I would feel if he flew Gerard Maloney in from Kilkenny, Ireland to join us on accordion for our set? I didn’t really know what to say, It was already a thrill that we were heading for this festival. I knew enough about it to be very excited as my friend David Corley (a beautiful songwriter, poet from Indiana) had played the festival the year before. At this point, I had not yet met Ger, he had played some beautiful music on “The Troubadour’s Song” from Jimmy & the Moon, but that had been recorded in Ireland, and I was not in attendance at that session.

So, the answer was yes.

I have never been precious about arrangements. A song can live many lives - I relished the idea of the band being something other than what it is on North American shores. I got quite excited about what this gig might end up being...

After some travel that culminated in the headstock being snapped off the top of my Les Paul, we arrived at the venue for a afternoon-of-the-gig rehearsal. This would be the first time that this group of players had ever played these songs together. I now had the added concern of not having a workable guitar for the show. Enter Dietmar again with an offer to let me play his Gretsch Black Falcon. The stars were all lining up. I left the rehearsal 100% certain we were going to have a great set that night, this was a remarkable group of musicians, Michael and Ger became instant comrades - and the venue and production were nothing short of spectacular. Oh, and the German beer was flowing in abundance...

It’s a Friday evening in early July 2018, the band is introduced by my friend Jeff Robson, the radio host of UMFM’s Tell the Band to Go Home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This was another wonderful reconnection, Jeff was the voice who narrated the documentary that accompanied the 20th anniversary re-release of my former band Lowest of the Low’s record, Shakespeare My Butt.... The Roots crowd packed the house and we launched into Things I Wish I’d Never Seen.

We played a set I will literally never forget. As I write this, I can remember everyone’s face as I looked around the stage. This was a group of friends making music, loving the connection, savouring every moment of it, and for most of us, we were 6000 kms from home. I don’t remember it as perfection but I do remember it as about the most perfect experience playing music that I had ever had. And as we’d made no arrangements to record the show. I figured that it would live on that way in my mind’s eye, and nowhere else...

Unbeknownst to me, a regular attendee of the festival, a man named René Geilenkirchen recorded the entire show. He had coordinated with the festival’s sound person, Oliver Hutten and together they captured what in my estimation is a very beautiful documentation of this night in Oberhausen, Germany.

It was never my intention to formally release this recording, several people have asked to hear it over the past couple of years, so I thought I would add it to our website for people to check out at some point or other. Then enter a pandemic... time to listen, time to consider and time to scheme. With the blessing of René. Jeff and Dietmar, and coinciding with the inevitable postponement of this year’s Static Roots Festival, the time seemed right to put this album out. To lean on an old cliché, we hope you enjoy listening to LIVE STATIC ROOTS as much as we enjoyed making it. It was truly one of the greatest musical pleasures of my life.