“A band full of music, on the verge of National recognition”
Telluride Daily Planet
Utah music fans know Stonefed. 400+ bar gigs, a state-wide television broadcast, multiple festivals and several live radio shows have made them hard to miss. The dance-jam band has been playing for almost a decade, making new fans and pleasing old ones each and every time. The Daily Utah Chronicle writes: “No matter how you put it, Stonefed is unique. Comparisons are hard to make, yet Stonefed, Galactic and Maceo all have a common trait – high energy.”
When we left the bar two hours earlier, it was nearly empty. Upon our return, the bar was packed; only one table was open and there was a mysterious pair of shoes under the table and a jacket on one chair. Well, maybe the shoes weren’t that mysterious, but it sounds a lot better, don’t you agree?
Anyway, we decided to take the table and if we had to, we would move. Stonefed was already in high gear, their groove was on, the beat was steady and the music, well, when Jon had told me earlier that they played a funky, bluesy, rock and Ska kinda thing, I didn’t realize that they would explore all those genres on the same song! And you talk about endurance, the drummer was amazing at keeping this band locked in the groove, they stopped for nothing, at one point, someone sent the band a round of shots, whiskey I think, which the band consumed post haste without missing a beat.
However, the truly inspiring display of musicianship came half way through the second set when Jon O snapped his high E string mid lead.
Now, before I go on, it’s time for a brief musical history lesson. How many of you know how Eric Clapton got his nick name Slow Hand? You in the front row with your hand waving wildly, can you answer the question? Yes sir, he got his name because he was such a god-awful fast guitarist, right? Wrong, now sit down and stop waving your hand.
Eric Clapton, as you know, started out as the quintessential bluesman, only playing the purist of blues and paying homage to Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, BB King, Buddy Guy and the like. And whilst he played these raucous blues songs, he often broke strings while attempting to make massive bends (ie. pushing the high E string to near the low E string producing the meow sound we all know and love.)
The down side to this little maneuver is the maddening little side effect of the string snapping like a twig, usually smack dab in the middle of a killer lead break. Well, the crowds that worshipped Eric Clapton and scrawled his name in subways proclaiming “Clapton is God” became accustomed to these string-breaking events and, as such, they learned to go into a slow clapping sort of routine that allowed Eric to restring his guitar while the crowd gave him a “slow hand,” thus his nickname was born, class is now excused.
Well, apparently, Jon O has studied his history books, because much to my amazement, Jon never stopped jamming, he got into his string stash, retrieved an E string, played a few more choice lead lines, then threaded the string through the bridge, played a few more choice bits, then pulled the string higher until it reached the neck and somehow in the dimly light, mirror ball fractured light of the stage found the tuning peg hole and wrapped it quickly around the peg like a professional steer roper would do on calf legs pointing skyward, and now for the really, really cool part, are you ready for this? This mad man incorporated the sound of the ever-tightening string, meow, meooow, meooowwww, meowwwwwwww into his lead that had never stopped! The last meow brought his guitar string into perfect tune at which point he continued to shred magnificently onward. I noticed that I had stopped dancing and was standing still, mouth agape, staring at the most incredible music event I had ever witnessed (since I was too young to see Clapton do this first hand in the early sixties in London). I realized I had just seen pure musicianship in action. The lead must go on, at that moment, he owned my respect forevermore. I closed my mouth and started dancing again, clapping wildly, whooping and hollering to let him know at least one person in the bar knew they were in the presence of greatness. Amen.
All in all, they played for nearly four hours, and in my recollection, although it was a bit altered, I think they took one break and on each side of that break the played one or two songs, so that means each song lasted at least an hour, moving between genres effortlessly, the groove tightening up and relaxing based on the throng of dancers I suppose, nearly hypnotic at times, raging at others and always, always the players were smiling, big smiles, not fake half-assed “I’m famous so kiss my ass” smiles but “God am I glad to be alive tonight” smiles, and these smiles were dangerously contagious, virtually everyone in the bar had that same damn smile, ear to ear, the pool players were smiling, cowboys were smiling, muppies were smiling, the recluses (that’s us) were smiling, the foosball players were smiling–well maybe not them, that is one serious game and this was the world championships–anyway even the bitchy bar maids were now smiling. Before long, we too were entranced and were trapped in their tractor beam of vibration and found ourselves dancing to the endless groove. Bottomline: Stonefed simply kicks ass.
Last call came, we chomped on a lemon slice and downed a couple shots of tequila for good measure then and headed back to the rock we had crawled out from under earlier that evening and slept deeply, with smiles on our faces.
-Lewis Cooper Live Music Photography http://gonzoshots.com
Stonefed brings it big time, bouncy licks and cool lyrics laid down over killer bass lines. Four talented musicians pour out a heavy dose of groovy music.
-Boise City Weekly
No matter how you put it, Stonefed is unique. Comparisons are hard to make, yet Stonefed, Galactic and Maceo all have a common trait -high energy.
-Daily Utah Chronicle
Winning fans over everywhere they play, Stonefed combines exquisite musicianship and boundless energy to create a show that has audiences raving.
-Grand Junction Free Press
If you’re looking for instrumental danceable grooves akin to Vinyl or Galactic, Stonefed can do it.
If you prefer the freestyle jam rock with incredible changes, swells, and psychedelic sounds found in Phish, Stonefed has it down. At times their genre is indefinable….amazing.
-City Search, Best of Utah