After the failure of Stephen Stills 2, Stills linked up with former Byrds’ bass player Chris Hillman forming Manassas. They recruited the remnants of Hillman’s Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as members of Stills’ touring band, forming a large ensemble. Manassas is primarily Stills’ project – he wrote most of the material, and sings most of the lead vocals, but the accomplished band elevates his material, as this sprawling double album covers country, Latin rhythms, folk, and bluesy rock.
‘Rock and Roll Crazies/Cuban Bluegrass’ showcases the new band’s skills, as it shifts between the styles outlined in its title, while ‘The Treasure (Take One)’ is an eight minute blues jam elevated by the full ensemble sound. There are plenty of top-grade acoustic songs like ‘So Begins The Task’ and ‘Johnny’s Garden’, while Rolling Stone Bill Wyman writes and plays on ‘The Love Gangster’.
Manassas is an excellent double album – even though it’s highly regarded by Stills’ fans, it’s been over-looked by many music fans.