MP3 Stone Black - Highway 29
Best described by most as "alternative country-rock", the tracks on this album push the boundaries of where tradtional country and rock collide.
11 MP3 Songs in this album (51:40) !
Related styles: COUNTRY: Country Rock, COUNTRY: Alt-Country
"....So I took the flame you left in me, and burnt us to the ground...." vocalizes Jonathan Yates on the title track to Stone Black''s latest album "Highway 29". This song tells the story of a man pushed beyond the edge of reason, so far that he burns down what used to be home and then drives away in a drunken rage without regard for his self or others. While this might not be a typical coutnry song about a woman leaving, the somber yet aggressive mood to the lyrics and music seem to suggest it might be a more realistic look at a very common subject. This first track
sets the tone for an album full of songs about real life happenings in day to day living. Songs such as "Worley Mountain" and "Time to Time" celebrate the freedom and carefree attutudes of youth, while "Lacy" tells the twisted tale of a love trianlge that has a suprising catch. While the faster, upbeat tunes have enough attitude to get adrenaline pumping through the veins of your grandmother, the ballads are where the band truly shines. In the aptly named "Makin'' Love to You Blues", Yates and bassist Stephen Nanney paint a perfect portrait of a relationship that is over, yet never seems to end. Producer Steve Sturm''s steel guitar work and vocalist Betsy Franck''s soulful delivery on "I Will Be Your Man" add just the right amount of flare to a song dealing with getting caught up in daily routines and taking your partner for granted. The final track on the project, simply named "Timber", offers a completely different yet highly personal look at the band. With only an acoustic guitar, Yates sings of his own families journey of one generation making a better way for the next, showing a glimpse into the Americana influences that shape the sound and the lyrics of this group of musicians.
Perhaps the highlight for Stone Black so far can be found with the track "Some Kind of Grace", a song that brought
them national attention when it was performed on the CMT series "Big Break". A tale of torn emotions and wrong
choices, "Grace" brings to life feelings of life, love, and the sorrowing despair of regret. "Audiences everywhere seem
to connect with that tune" says Yates, who penned the song about a close friend and his struggles of being torn
between two relationships. "I think the reason why is because everyone can relate to it" he continues. "Everyone has things in the past that they wish could be changed or would have worked out differently. It is only human."
When asked, people that are close to the band usually offer up one phrase to describe any of the 5 members or the
group as a whole, and that phrase is "Real Life". Shannon Clark, Robby Moore, Sam Watkins, along with the previously
mentioned Yates and Nanney, seem to be exactly what they sing about. Normal people that go through the everyday
ups, downs, and challenges of day to day life. "There is a lot to be said about integrity in music" says Nanney. "We are not going to put a song on an album about something that we can''t relate to. If we did that, how could we expect the people that pay out their hard earned money to buy the music and come to the shows to believe in us and what we stand for? It just wouldn''t make sense." An interesting viewpoint indeed, and one that seems to be altogether lost in the world of mainstream country music today. "If we have written a song about it, then you can guarantee that someone in the band has lived through
it, or has lived close to it" Yates continues. "We are ordinary people just like anyone that might buy any of our albums. The only difference is that we get up on a stage to speak to our friends rather than just call them up on the phone."
After 5 years of playing together, recording and touring, it seems that this is a close knit group of guys that have not forgotten where they came from, and no matter how far they go it seems they never will. When asked about the goals
for the future, the answer is echoed my every member of the band. "Whatever happens will happen. We aren''t worried
about having the biggest record deal or the biggest song on the charts. This isn''t about competition, it is about having
something to say. So long as we have a message to get across, we will continue to make our music."