Monday, March 25, 2019

Jason Robert -- "The Death Of Stone Stanley"

This is supposed to be a review of Jason Robert's album "The Death Of Stone Stanley" but it will have to also include musings from another, earlier, album "The Mudstomp Tapes" by the band Stone Stanley; which had as their baritone singer, songwriter, drummer and guitarist Jason Robert. Both albums have much to recommend--so even though I will try to contain my remarks to the "Death" album, I hope that you dear reader will buy them both.

I first heard the "Mudstomp" album, and it blew me away. It has a unique sound and a unique style. On the "Mudstomp" album, the band is Jason Robert: drums, guitars, vocals and percussion. Scott Longnecker: bass. Ralph Gilbert: guitar. Dan Stevens :percussion. Jim McComas: Engineer, guitar (track 11). My favorite song here is "Be With Me," with an interesting middle section of the "Grinnin' In Your Face." guitar solo on "John The Revelator" which is by Jim McCormack. 

Jason Robert seems particularly attached to Blind Willie Johnson. He covers both "John The Revelator and "The Soul Of A Man"on the "Death" album. Both covers are striking. His cover of "Moonshiner" illumines his intentions here--the guitar is dark, his voice is dark and plain, the drums are behind the beat but clear, and the entire execution of the song seems to want to resurrect the original song.

""Mr Bell" is a song Robert describes it as “A dark folk tune about the villain Lester F Bell from Bodie California's most haunted mining camps.“ and as he sings he seems to suck all the light out of the room." Andy Snipper wrote that on the and he seems to have it exactly right.    

The "Death" album is an excellent follow-up. The band on this album is Jason Robert: guitar, vocals,
drums, kalimba. Scott Longnecker: bass. Jim McComas: guitar on tracks # 5 and # 10, harmonica on # 5. My favorite song here is "Moonshiner."
Both albums are clearly the personal vision of Jason Robert, and that vision is one that blues music needs, especially in these days. I look forward to whatever he is going to release next.



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