Live Static Roots Oberhausen, Germany
“This album brilliantly captures the magic of wonderful night of music at the Static Roots Festival, Germany. Stephen Stanley and his band absolutely kill it!” — Dietmar Leibecke
Stream/Download from Bandcamp, Apple Music, or Spotify at the links below.
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.
"It's one of the rare live recordings when you really can feel how much fun a band has doing what they love."
— Rene Geilenkirchen
Release date: July 10, 2020
Recorded & mixed by René Geilenkirchen
Executive producer Dietmar Leibecke
Additional recording by Oliver Hutten
Recorded at Zentrum Altenberg
in Oberhausen (Rheinland), Germany
Mastered by Tim Branton at Joao Carvalho Mastering
Introduction by Jeff Robson
Cover photo by Klaas Guchelaar
Cover art by Stephen Stanley
Single Art for “Under the Mynah Bird” by Violet Stanley
Chris Bennett - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Chris Brown - Keyboard, Bass
Gerard Maloney - Accordion
Hadley McCall Thackston - Vocals
Michael Mormecha - Drums
Stephen Stanley - Vocals, Guitar
Released on Wolfe Island Records in North America and Continental Record Services (CRS) in Europe.