The Stillroven



THE STILLROVEN came from a Minneapolis suburb called Robbinsdale and reappeared seemingly out of nowhere when the 1960’s reissue label Sundazed Records released a retrospective album from the band, Cast Thy Burden upon the Stillroven in 1996.  The band evolved from an earlier band called the Syndicate and had a rotating line-up over their history from 1966 to 1968.  They made fine original songs such as “She’s My Woman” and “Sunny Day”; but in the garage rock tradition, they are perhaps even more adept at covers.  Their second single, and the first that was widely available was of the 1960’s chestnut “Hey Joe”; and the flip side of their first single was a punky cover of the Monkees’ tuffest single, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”.  Other notable covers are of more obscure songs from British bands, like “Cheating” (by the Animals), “Little Games” (by the Yardbirds) and “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” (by Small Faces).  Their later recordings edged into the psychedelic realm, and the band hit their creative peak with a mid-period single “Little Picture Playhouse” b/w “Cast Thy Burden upon the Stone”.  (The latter song title is a Biblical reference taken from Psalm 55:22a). The retrospective album closes with a messy but quite listenable musical collage called “Freakout”.  Reportedly the band has a full unreleased album from 1968 that Sundazed has also promised to reissue at some point. 
(September 2010)
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Flashback:  The Under-Appreciated Rock Band of the Month for September 2010 – THE STILLROVEN
The Stillroven were an unknown garage rock band from Minneapolis, even to most record collectors, when Sundazed Records put together a compilation CD in 1996 called Cast Thy Burden upon the Stillroven.  I missed the fact that Sundazed had put out a second Stillroven CD in 2003Too Many Spaces, though Allmusic disputes that it is actually an unreleased album.  For better or worse, I have gotten better (or a lot more wordy at least) in developing the theme for my monthly posts than I was for this UARB
There is a lot more info about the band on the web now than there was in 2010; they even have a Facebook page: .  Sundazed is definitely amped about this band:  In the liner notes for Cast Thy Burden upon the Stillroven, they rave that the Stillroven’s version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” buries the Monkeeshit recording of (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.  Now, on their website, Sundazed insists that “their pedal-to-the-metal, frenetic version of ‘Hey Joe’ [is] still THE definitive version as far as we’re concerned”.  That’s a pretty strong statement considering that Hey Joe was one of the most recorded songs of the 1960’s.  Better-known covers include those by the Jimi Hendrix ExperienceDeep Purple (on their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, they even claimed to be the songwriter!), Johnny Riversthe Byrdsthe Music Machine, and the Leaves
So, if you want to test that claim, here is the Stillroven on YouTube (audio only) performing “Hey Joe”: .  Their take on (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone can be found at: .  They also do fine original songs; check out what is basically the title song from the CD shown above, “Cast Thy Burden upon the Stone” at .  It is audio only like the rest, but there are some nice visuals (including a shot of the cartoon character on I Dream of Jeannie that you might remember from the opening credits).  
(September 2012)
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Picture Gallery:   The Under-Appreciated Rock Band of the Month for September 2010THE STILLROVEN
This is the retrospective CD on the Stillroven that I have, Cast Thy Burden upon the Stillroven:
This is a second CD that was released later by Sundazed RecordsToo Many Spaces:
Here is the original 45 for their cover of the 1960’s classic Hey Joe:
This is another single that the Stillroven released of a song that the band covered:
Here is a shot of the band in concert at a venue called the Cave:
This is a color photograph of the Stillroven:
(September 2013)
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It was about a year ago that I started my series on Under-Appreciated Rock Bands of the Month (including one Under-Appreciated Rock Artist of the Month), to celebrate the more obscure albums and bands in my record collection that had not yet been profiled in Wikipedia.  The list shows a wide-ranging list of types of music I think: 
December 2009 – BEAST1960’s hippie-flavored rock band (2 albums) 
January 2010 – WENDY WALDMAN, 1970’s singer-songwriter (6 albums) 
February 2010 – CYRUS ERIE1960’s garage rock band (single) 
March 2010 – BANG1970’s hard rock band (4 albums) 
April 2010 – THE BREAKAWAYS1970’s power pop rock band (several singles; retrospective album) 
May 2010 – THE NOT QUITE1980’s psychedelic revival rock band (3 albums) 
June 2010 – WATERLILLIES1990’s electronica rock band (2 albums) 
July 2010 – THE EYES1970’s punk rock band (several singles) 
August 2010 – QUEEN ANNE’S LACE1960’s pop-psychedelic rock band (1 album) 
September 2010 – THE STILLROVEN1960’s garage rock band (several singles; retrospective album) 
October 2010 – THE PILTDOWN MEN1960’s instrumental rock band (several singles; retrospective album) 
November 2010 – SLOVENLY1980’s indie rock band (5 albums) 
(Year 1 Review)
Last edited: March 22, 2021