DiY By The Bay!

 

 

 

 

(click on picture to open file)

By: Michael D. Vogel

© February 6, 2009. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved.  

Published in:

Radio & Records magazineFebruary 20, 2009

 

In the late 1950’s, the term “Do-it-Yourself” became a common household refernce to those who could do things without the help of a professional. In recent years, as Wikipedia defines it, “the term DiY has taken on a broader meaning that covers a wide range of skill sets. Today, for example, DiY is associated with the international alternative and hardcore music scenes. Members of these subcultures strive to blur the lines between creator and consumer by constructing a social network that ties users and makers close together.” As such, many artists have reinvented themselves as multi-tasking mavens, handleing band artwork, running their official websites, keeping up with the vast and usually inter-continental fan bases via their MySpace and Facebook pages as well as writing blogs and even podcasting in addition to the not so simple task of song writing. “We love interacting with the audience while we’re on stage, and we’re usually in the crowd before and after our sets to keep in touch with our fans.  We also utilize our website, email lists, and a few social networking websites to keep fans updated on our shows, videos, and anything else we come up with” explains Stone Foxes drummer Shannon Koehler.

To say that bay-area rockers the Stone Foxes embrace the DiY philosophy would be an understatement. The Stone Foxes represent the next generation of multi-media musicians. Having grown up in the computer age, they simply know no other way. And with a desire to maintain as much control over their image and representation to the record buying public, modern technology has made this a reality for today’s multi-tasking musicians. “From the beginning we’ve drawn our posters by hand, designed and maintained our website and silk-screened our own t-shirt graphics” says Foxes guitarist Aaron Mort.

The band has been paying their dues on the club scenes up and down the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco with forages into the Midwest. “Early on, when we were playing dive bars for free beer, we always dreamed of playing SF venues like Cafe Du Nord and The Great American Music Hall, and it’s crazy to see that now we’re booked at both venues in the same month” offers lead guitarist Spence Koehler. The diligence of their work ethic has been paying off with each passing day. Word of mouth alone has produced SRO crowds for their club sets and most recently being rewarded with an invitation to play at the upcoming SXSW music festival in Austin, TX.

With the exuberance and inquisitive nature that comes with youth, the band experimented with their sound by recording the debut self-titled CD in their basement, with mattresses found on the local street corners acting as sound deadeners on the walls and drums placed in a sandbox. “It’s been gratifying and surreal to see an album we recorded ourselves in our garage receive so much recognition and respect from so many influential people,” adds Shannon.

Heavily influenced by the great stars of the 60s and 70s, the likes of The Band, the electrified Muddy Waters and Willy Dixon, to the recent vintage sounds of the Black Crowes and the Raconteurs it becomes immediately apparent that the Stone Foxes have a talent for writing and performing down and dirty blues-based rock & roll. It was those roots that saw the band quickly take notice at radio. “Half way through one listen to The Stone Foxes track ‘Beneath Mt. Sinai’ was all it took before I knew I had to play it on Radio Soundcheck!” states Aaron Axelsen, Music Director for KITS/Live 105 in San Francisco. KEDJ/Phoenix, KBZT/San Diego, KUPD/Phoenix, KXTE/Las Vegas, KJEE/Santa Barbara, AOL Radio, Traction Radio-Alternative Rock and the House of Blues Radio Hour, which is spun on over 300 stations across North America, are only a handful of the early believers.  The band has even caught the ear of Elwood Blues (aka Dan Aykroyd) who happily testified the track “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ from The Stone Foxes is my favorite new song of the week.”

Although the debut CD’s sales have been just under the Soundscan radar for the moment, sales have generated organically with most being sold at shows and from their website, with early breakout retail stories from Dig! Music and ZIA as well as Amoeba and Rasputin’s. “We have had to re-order the Stone Foxes album 5 times in the past two months, we have sold more Stone Foxes albums then the new AC/DC. Every time we play it in the store customers come up to the desk asking about it” proclaims Mike Roumbanais, owner of Dig! Music in Ukiah, California. ^m^

Photograph credit: Michael Rosati

 

Vital Statistics:

Origin:

San Francisco, CA 

Line-Up:                                                          

Aaron Mort – Guitar, Harp & Vocals                   

Spence Koehler – Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel & Vocals

Avi Vinocur – Bass, Guitar & Vocals

Shannon Koehler – Drums, Harp & Vocals

About The Current CD:

All four members sing and write; creating a unique story for each of the 12 songs found on their self-titled debut album. 

Discography:

The Stone Foxes (Independent, 2008)

Out Of The Sunset EP (Independent, 2006)

Black Rolling Thunder (Independent, 2006)

Produced By:

The Stone Foxes

Label:

Unsigned

Website:

www.thestonefoxes.com

 

© February 6, 2009. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at http://www.vogelism.com authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as the entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.

 

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