We are told:
In 1979 the Dr Pepper festival line-up included sets by Todd Rundgren, Blondie, Eddie Money, Southside Johnny and a number of other acts popular at the time. In amongst these performers, a set by Stephen Stills and The Californian Blues Band - the backing group Stills was playing with at the time - was witnessed.
The group were in fact, Gerald Johnson on bass, Bill Meeker on drums, Mike Finnegan on keyboards, Gerry Tolman on guitar and Pete Escovedo on percussion. Brooks Hunnicut provided additional vocals. Most of the band had backed Stills on his 1978 album Thoroughfare Gap, his least successful solo record; the album only reached number 84 on The Billboard Chart and reviews were generally less than positive.
Sensibly, Stills played just one tune from the record, the very strong title track which most fans consider the albums best number.
The rest of the set is made up with classic oldies, cover versions and rarities. This concert does indeed do much to re-instate Stephen Stills atthis point in his career, generally considered a fallow period for the legendary writer, singer, musician and live draw. The sheer exhilaration of this performance, available here on CD for the first time, illustrates that, while his 1978 record with its disco tinged production and many pedestrian compositions was perhaps an ill-advised attempt to bring in a younger audience, this was a blip on the landscape and that in reality Stills had lost little if any of the prowess that had provided the huge fan-base and critical esteem he had garnered prior to this juncture.