I’ve always found Manassas to be a pleasurable, well-flowing recording. What I love the most about Manassas is how the music gels as the four sides play out. The assembled musicians follow each other in a natural groove that builds into polyrhythms that envelop the listener.
Manassas has been relegated over time to the status of an overlooked and forgotten album in the annals of rock. The band was an intuitive, collaborative nucleus who knitted together cohesive sound. Along with the band members listed on the début album cover above, added people included Byron Berline (fiddle), Bill Wyman (bass) and Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar). Bill Wyman was reported as saying that he would have left the Stones to join Manassas.
I found an interesting video segment of Manassas on YouTube. Like many of the 70’s videos I have watched it was filmed and broadcast on Beat-Club for German television. It has held up well over time capturing the band live before Manassas was released in April 1972. I like witnessing Chris Hillman playing guitar and sharing vocals with Stephen Stills. There is a magic between that works effectively. My favorite song by Manassas is, “It Doesn’t Matter” which appears on the video.