Just Roll Tape

Just Roll Tape

Lost for nearly 40 years, this fascinating tape of Stephen Stills performing with his acoustic guitar on April 26, 1968 (in a New York City recording studio after a Judy Collins session) captures Stills months before his involvement with David Crosby and Graham Nash, performing songs that would appear on his future solo albums and with the now legendary supergroup. The intimacy is hard to beat. Essentially, these are professional demos with no special effects or extensive overdubs of tunes that Stills wanted to document for his own memory. Distortion occasionally will slightly mar a take, but Stills is in fine voice for tunes he would slowly unveil to the world from “Change Partners” to “Wooden Ships” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”  — and even a demo of a song simply called “Judy” that sounds like it might be an earlier writing inspiration for “Suite” that Stills still felt fondly towards. Stills’ involvement with Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield can be heard in Stills’ raw, achy vocal takes on “The Doctor Will See You Now” and “Black Queen.” Finding these tapes must have been quite a jolt for Stills and are quite intriguing for fans who get a snapshot of what it would be like to sit around the campfire with Stills and his guitar in 1968.

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