Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Loosen Up! reviewed by Diane Mandell

Loosen Up!
RB Stone
Self released
10 tracks/35:35

"Loosen Up!" Is the 16th album for Nashville-based blues veteran RB Stone.  Released on June 18, 2013 on his own music label, Middle Mountain Music, the singer, song-writer, guitarist and harmonicist Stone and his band serve up their brand of blues.

Stone was born in Huntingburg, IN, and raised in Ohio.  Both his parents were music-lovers, so Stone was exposed to a wide variety of music like BB King, Elvis, The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Herb Alpert and a host of others.  By age 12, his mother had showed him some piano chords and Bill Withers'" Lean On Me" became the first song he learned to play.  After high school he worked on the railroad and later managed a plumbing, heating and electrical store.  By 23, he sold almost everything he owned and drove to Colorado to become a cowboy.  He wrangled horses and led Rocky Mountain camping trips by day and entertained the campers with his guitar and vocals at night. 

Soon he formed his first band and started Middle Mountain Music which survives nearly 30 years later when he couldn't find a record label to take his first blues recording in 1985.  Since then he has toured five continents, sold over 40,000 albums mostly at his shows, and performed with musicians like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Burrito Brothers, Tricia Yearwood, Little "Joe" and Chris Ledoux, to name a few.

Stone is clearly an interesting fellow.  His lyrics and vocals combine with accomplished guitar and harmonica to produce some nice blues with a little country flavoring.  My favorite tracks are "High Horse", the title track "Loosen Up" and "I Ain't Buyin' That Bull".  I enjoyed the album and think you will too.

Reviewed by Diane Mandell

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