Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Stonehouse readies fifth album thanks to fans

They say the friends you make in college will last a lifetime, and that certainly is the case with singer/guitarists Jon Roth and Roman Meyer. They grew up in the area, met at The University of Toledo, and started making music. That was more than fifteen years ago.

“He’s a very sort of jam band/jazz fusion guitar player and really great harmony singer. Total artist mind. He’s definitely right-brained,” says Roth about Meyer. “I kind of go a little left-brained so it can create tension but at the same time it creates decent alchemy.”

Fans Open Their Wallets

Good enough for five albums together, including the latest, This Song is About You. The title’s not an allusion to Carly Simon but the fact Stonehouse raised the album’s $2,000 cost through a Kickstarter campaign that ran most of September.

“For a while there we wondered, would we make any money?” Roth remembers. “Then people started coming out of the woodwork.”

Their biggest donors were Treo and Ye Olde Durty Bird, two of their favorite haunts. Ye Olde Durty Bird will host the record release party, scheduled for February. The album’s being mixed by Mike Pierce, owner of Sixtyten Studio, where they recorded.

Changing Lineups

It’s Stonehouse’s second album as a quintet, after the addition of keyboardist Bryan “Bubby” Quigley, and the band is gelling. “We are starting to sound like a band rather than just a jam session,” says Roth.

While the core’s been intact for several years, there have been changes on the kit. But it would be difficult to match original drummer Alan Smith who had played with Ohio Players and Isaac Hayes.

“He was a real school of drum beats and rhythms,” Roth says. “He was a great Latin drummer so some of the stuff we originally wrote instrumental-wise has that kind of Caribbean/Latin feel.”

While Roth readily classifies the sound as improvisational, “jam band,” he’s quick to assert the band’s breadth.

“There’s a country tune, a funk tune, a folky tune, a bluesy tune. There’s a song nobody knows what the hell it is,” he says. “It kind of goes in all sorts of directions, which is really fun as a band because then you don’t have to play one type of tune all night.” |


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