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There have been many musicians throughout history who were raised to be musicians, growing up in a household full of singers, songwriters, pianists, guitarists, saxophonists, etc. Michael and Janet Jackson, Donny and Marie Osmond, and on and on. Few, though, probably could match Tedo Stone‘s upbringing. Where most kids would get clothes, toys, and ratty baseball gloves as hand-me-downs from their older siblings, Stone was receiving a guitar or a bass. When at the age of 12 most boys would be playing Little League Baseball or kicking a soccer ball, Stone was fronting his own band and playing in biker bars in rural Georgia.
This is a story straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel yet it is the life that Tedo Stone once knew. It could have broken him, but instead he shaped the experiences. It made him fearless to test new boundaries and push himself as a musician, starting off with a more pop vibe on his Happy EP, which he released in 2012. Now on his sophomore album, Marshes, Stone has changed course and moved more towards a ’60s and ’70s rock sound a la T. Rex, Cream, and Neil Young, which seems to suit him perfectly. On Marshes, Stone effortlessly moves from euphoric rock, such as on the opener “Marshes”, a crowd-pleasing, hook-laden stunner; the reverb-heavy, trippy tune “By Your Side”, which bellows of a pop-rock version of Ty Segall; and the outrageously delightful “Mind Wasted”, a college radio-esque tune that could be Stone recalling his youthful days.
Stone shows his versatility on “Home To It”, a bluesy, southern-rock song that has Stone channeling the great T. Rex while “Way Gone” recalls a young Bruce Springsteen in its music and lyrics of missed opportunities. Stone then cuts loose in a ’60s rock fashion on “D4L” that includes a blazing guitar riff and a bar-room style solo in the middle – an approach that current bands like Deer Tick and Dawes have utilized. But on the finale, “In Tune”, Stone is at his most vulnerable. Deep and almost cathartic, “In Tune” sees Stone wailing on the guitar while hollering in agony to someone, anyone. A southern rock song hasn’t sounded this naked since My Morning Jacket released their epic “Dondante”. If elongated in the future, “In Tune” could very well have the same impact and be Stone’s signature song in the years to come – assuming Stone stays the course. However, if history has told us anything, Stone’s life is like a Hunter S. Thompson novel – unpredictable yet stupendous, which is what can be said about The Marshes.
The Marshes is available now via This Is American Music. Purchase and stream the album on Tedo Stone’s Bandcamp page. Pick it up as well at the label’s store (vinyl/CD) and on iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic.
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