STILLWATER – I Reserve The Right [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded] *Exclusive*
Many of you asked to keep featuring Rock Candy Records releases to complete collections, so here’s STILLWATER second album, 1978’s “I Reserve The Right“, fully remastered.
Based in Macon, Georgia, Stillwater had developed a fine reputation before being snapped up by the premiere Southern Rock label Capricorn records, home to a myriad of home-grown talent such as The Allman Brothers Band or The Marshall Tucker Band, amongst many others. The addition of Stillwater to the roster worked well for both the band and the label. Their debut album (also available on Rock Candy) spawned a hit single, helping to tee the band up nicely for album #2.
Issued in 1978 and produced once again by Atlanta Rhythm Section producer/writer Buddy Buie, at Studio One in Doraville, this album found the band developing their style and swagger in no uncertain terms. Boasting a number of superb tracks, including ‘Kalifornia Kool‘, ‘Fair Warning’ and the seven minute long title track, featuring some blistering lead guitar work.
By the time of this second album, Stillwater moved toward a more mainstream hard rock sound and become a little more lyrically adventurous… the title song and opening track is a sturdy, shout-it-out rock song that gives way to a strutting axe groove half way through, extending the track to a satisfying seven minutes. It’s a memorable opener, but an underpromoted single version failed to register in any meaningful way.
That might have had something to do with the fact that the label, Capricorn, filed for bankruptcy shortly after the album’s release… yet another stop-me-if-you’ve-heard-this-one story.
A crying shame, as elsewhere the album, raw and soulful in just the right places, has a strong sense of pacing, maintaining tension and momentum.
The FM radio- friendly, ‘Women (Beautiful Women)’, and ‘Sometimes Sunshine’ have a lightly polished, sophisticated sheen, and ‘Fair Warning’ (not that one), a finger picking, lick trading, barroom boogie, talks of violence, but underlines it with a dark sense of humour.
Lead guitarist Rob Walker’s ‘Alone on a Saturday Night’ is a beautiful song, with drummer Sebie Lacey getting the honors for the lead vocal. It’s the kind of mellow tune that stands out and grabs you.
While Stillwater self-titled first album is our favorite, “I Reserve The Right” is a really fine piece of Classic Rock performed by ‘authentic musicians’.
The Seventies are not well known for durable recording technology. Given that, this remastering is all the more impressive. Maintaining the warmth and depth of those original analogue recordings, while at the same time achieving a surprising amount of sonic separation and loudness, is quite some feat.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – I Reserve The Right
02 – Women (Beautiful Women)
03 – Keeping Myself Alive
04 – Kalifornia Kool
05 – Sometimes Sunshine
06 – Fair Warning
07 – Alone On A Saturday Night
08 – Ain’t We A Pair
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jimmy Hall
Lead Guitar – Mike Causey, Rob Walker
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Bobby Golden
Bass, Backing Vocals – Allison Scarborough
Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Sebie Lacey
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Bob Spearman
Horns – The Muscle Shoals Horns
Strings – Steve Hulse