Stone Harbour were a duo from Ohio who typified the DIY ethos of rock’n’roll in 1974 with the original release of their now critically acclaimed album, ‘Emerges.‘
Aspiring songwriter and multi-instrumentalist writer, Ric Ballas owned a 4-track reel to reel recorder; singer songwriter Dave McCarty could also play a bit on drums. Additionally, he had ‘a pleasant voice’ and so between them, with all bases covered, they began to write collaborate in writing some music and recording.
Though their equipment was not exactly state of the art, they recorded a few songs to tape – more or less all in one take, with the occasional over-dub.
These recordings were taken to the Peppermint Productions studio in Youngstown, Ohio where they were mixed down to two-track. The aim was these tracks would form a demo that the lads could hawk around to impress and recruit others to join their band.
Most players didn’t have reel-to reel facilities, however, so Ric decided to have five hundred copies of the resultant tracks transferred onto vinyl – this was the minimum run amount.
With their very limited budget now blown, Ric sketched a few picture, had it reproduced five hundred times and then pasted them to cardboard jackets.
And that was about it. A full, live and touring band did come about. They played to mixed responses and after a couple of years, disbanded. (A follow-up album was partially recorded, but the studio was destroyed by fire, and the master tape with it.)
But as happens so often with these ‘lost’ LPs, somebody somewhere is impressed, word gets around, and original copies become sought after treasures. A copy of this sold on Discogs for over £1000 last year!
The music is varied in nature, ranging from folky psychedelia to rock-out proto grunge style. It’s pretty lo-fi in nature, but has a real innocent charm about it.
The album has been re-leased, most recently by Geurssen Records’ Out-Sider imprint. Definitely one to check out.
RELEASES BY STONE HARBOUR
|Emerges||LP||Stone Harbour Records||1974||Original pressing of 500. Copies known to sell for up to £1000+|