Exclusive Premiere: Al Staehely Vaults Back to LA Days with ‘Post Spirit’ Collection

Al Staehely - Courtesy
Al Staehely - Photo by Hill Taylor White

By DONNA BALANCIA

Al Staehely takes listeners on a journey through some of life’s most memorable moments with his new album, Post Spirit 1974-1978 Vol. 1.

The album covers the former Spirit player’s collection of unearthed tracks produced during the hazy, analog days of 1970s Los Angeles.

“The ’70s L.A. music scene was a special time,” Staehely said. “Today, in 2021, many try to recreate the ’70s analog experience in their songwriting and recordings. I was lucky to have been writing and making music during that time.”

For anyone who listened to the radio in the 1970s, this collection out on Oct. 7 by the Texas musician is a fond look back at the fun, carefree days of youth. Young listeners of today and aspiring musicians can learn a thing or two from this weathered minstrel, whose music captures the most deep-rooted emotions of yesterday and today.

Al Staehely - Courtesy image
Al Staehely – Photo by Hill Taylor White

Staehely was lead vocalist, principal songwriter and bass player on Spirit’s fifth album, Feedback (1972). He went on to enjoy a music career in bands like the Staehely Brothers, and The Nick Gravenites-John Cipollina Band, while also writing songs for performers like Keith Moon, Bobbie Gentry, Patti Dahlstrom, Marty Balin and others.

In 1980, Staehely returned to Texas and worked as a lawyer by day and musician by night, performing with Roy Orbison, Emmy Lou Harris, Jefferson Starship, and toured Europe with Cipollina of Quicksilver and Gravenitis of Electric Flag. His other life, as a Houston entertainment attorney, hasn’t kept Staehely from pursuing his writing and performing his music.

With the new collection, Post Spirit, Staehely captures that most popular time of Americana-Rock. Among his collaborators are Steve Cropper, Jim Horn, Snuffy Walden and Pete Sears, renowned players in the genre.

But Staehely took it one step further, virtually creating a genre of his own: A metropolitan, jazzy blend of folk-rock with easy lyrics that cut to the chase. Staehely’s long-buried tracks range from lovelorn ballads to upbeat rockers. The twangy, jazz-tinged “Stand In Love,” and R&B-influenced “Safecracker” practically usher in the era of Steely Dan. Post Spirit wends its way through love and dreams, tempered with some sage, albeit naive, advice of youth.

Additional musicians on the album include: Gary Mallaber, Al Garth, John Staehely, Curly Smith, Veyler Hildebrand, Steve Beckmeir, Otis Hale, Skip Edwards, Rosemary Butler, Renee Armand, Venetta Fields & Clydie King (the Blackberries), Evelyn Rubio and Andy Kahan.

“These never-before released recordings from my ‘vault’ are the real thing, written and recorded in L.A. during that era in some of the best studios, with some of the best musicians working at that time,” Staehely said.

Staehely is taking the music on the road with some upcoming shows, check out his website here. 

Listen to ‘Post Spirit’ here:

Pre-save the album here.

Check out ‘Wide Eyed & Innocent’ here:

‘Post Spirit 1974-1978 Vol. 1’ Track Listing:

  1. Wide Eyed And Innocent
  2. Feel The Heat
  3. Chipping Away
  4. Like A River
  5. Stand In Love
  6. Safecracker
  7. Too Long Alone
  8. Without Love
  9. Coasting
  10. 10 Put Your Life In My Hands
  11. Tenderhooks
  12. Wish I’d Said
  13. Lady Was A Racehorse
  14. All Is Forgiven