Power-pop great and dB's member Chris Stamey will release a new solo album, ...The Great Escape, on July 7 via Car Records / Redeye. The album puts country rock spin on hs classic sound, and was born out of a tour with Alejandro Escovedo where he was taken by pedal steel player Eric Heywood. "I marveled every night at how Eric magically shaped the songs; his instincts were just spot-on," Chris says. "After the tour, I ended up writing a number of tunes with steel in mind, and was fortunate enough to have him add some of his alchemy to these." The album also features another pedal steel player, Allyn Love, who "really nailed the energy of the title track, then switched gears for the sensitive dobro textures on 'Dear Friend.'"

The album also features the talents of his dB's bandmates Peter Holsapple & Will Rigby, Don Dixon, Mipso’s Libby Rodenbough, Chatham County Line’s John Teer and Dave Wilson, Don Dixon, and Stamey's old friend and Sneakers bandmate Mitch Easter, who plays drums on a few tracks, including first single "She Might Look My Way." That is an Alex Chilton song (cowritten with Tommy Hoehn) that Chris tells us is "one I used to play with him at CBGB back in 1977...Alex and I recorded it for Elektra Records but they never released that version." The version on ...The Great Escape is a collaboration with Terry Manning, who was an engineer at Ardent Studios, where Big Star recorded. You can read more about Chris' long, very interesting history with the song below.

We're premiering the video for "She Might Look My Way," which Chris tells us about as well: "The video itself is an homage to the lip-sync video TV appearances Alex and the other Box Tops did in the 60s. Here, it's Alejandro Escovedo who is playing the host of an imaginary late-70s NYC late-night cable-TV show called Rock On. Mitch Easter, who plays drums on the actual recording, is the drummer in the video here. Robert Sledge (bass, Ben Folds Five) and Matt McMichaels (2nd guitar, Mayflies USA) are also in the band here." Watch that below.

Chris has a few tour dates this summer, listed below, with more more dates coming this fall. Stay tuned.

Chris Stamey on "She Might Look My Way":

When I was a kid, I was already in love with the sound of records. I was 17 in 1972 when I got a copy of #1 Record by Big Star, and I thought it had about the most magical sound of them all. So I decided one summer afternoon that, hey, I’d just call the studio listed on the back and ask them how they did it! The woman who answered the phone at Ardent in Memphis put me on hold, and I can only imagine now that some laughter ensued all round the office at the audacity and absurdity of my question! But they put engineer/producer Terry Manning on the line, and lo and behold, as my head reeled, he ever so kindly took the time to tell teenage me all about the nitty gritty, the mics and guitars and amps and gizmos.

I had no idea then that Terry had worked on Led Zep III, classic Staples Singers tracks, and was soon to helm ZZ Top megahits. I just knew he was one of the Ardent wizards. And I was so grateful to have him pull the curtain back just a little.

Decades and many sessions later, meeting at a NYC concert, we picked up the conversation again. Both loving a forgotten song, “She Might Look My Way,” that I’d later played regularly at CBGB with Big Star’s Alex Chilton—and even recorded with him at Todd Rundgren’s studio for Elektra Records, although it was never released by the label. At that point I’d already started a bare-bones studio version of it myself, with Mitch Easter, so I handed the tapes off to Terry. He dialed in his wizardry once again, in the Bahamas, and filled it with that same brand of Memphis magic: harmonies, guitars, Mellotron. It was the very last thing ever mixed at the famous Compass Point Studios, and that, too, seemed kind of magical. I loved it. We even talked about starting a band together then, but geography got in the way.

So when I was finishing up my new record, The Great Escape, as a reality check I kept referencing this track, which had also never been released. I finally realized that it belonged in here with the newer tracks, that it was in a way a keystone for the rest. I didn’t write it, Alex did that, with Tommy Hoehn. But I’m so pleased to have it on board.

chris stamey - great_escape

...The Great Escape:
1. The Great Escape
2. Realize
3. She Might Look My Way
4. Here’s How We Start Again
5. I Will Try
6. Dear Friend
7. Greensboro Days
8. Back in New York
9. The Sweetheart of the Video
10. The Catherine’s Wheel
11. I’m a Prisoner of This Hopeless Love
12. The One and Only (Van Dyke Parks) (Bonus Track)
13. Back in New York (Electric Mix) (Bonus Track)

Chris Stamey - 2023 Tour Dates
June 15, Chapel Hill, NC: On the Green at Southern Village
June 16, Rocky Mount, VA: Harvester Performance Center (w/ the Connells)
June 17, Charleston, SC: The Riviera Theater (w/ the Connells)
June 24, Athens, GA: Athfest

More From Brooklyn Vegan