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The Stone Foxes
Shannon Koehler (drums, harp, vocals), Aaron Mort (bass, guitar, vocals), Spence Koehler (lead guitar, vocals), Avi Vinocur (guitar, bass)
No nonsense rock and roll. Discography to date includes The Stone Foxes (2008), Bears And Bulls (2010) and Small Fires (2013).
Even if you’re the kind of slowpoke who hasn’t yet heard of The Stone Foxes, chances are you’ll have heard their music – it’s been featured in such high-profile ventures as the TV shows Shameless and Sons Of Anarchy, as well as a national ad campaign for Jack Daniels. If that implies a sense of freewheeling hedonism and a love of rockin’ out – then that’s because that’s the band in a nutshell.
The Stone Foxes formed in 2005 – but they had met long before that, having all grown up in the same Central Valley town and all attended San Francisco State University. Their first few years together (as with pretty much any other band) were spent honing their sound and craft, until they had perfected the blend of country, rock and blues. There was a little bit of help from their extensive list of influences too: they count Devendra Banhart, Bob Dylan, The Band, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Kings of Leon, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, The Faces, Black Sabbath, Wilco, Neil Young, Dr. Dog, The Black Keys, The Raconteurs and The White Stripes as among their musical heroes. So – just one or two sources of inspiration then …
There’s also a love for live performance that separates them from many of their contemporaries. The material on their two albums to date all stems from continual practice on the stage – an organic process in which songs are debuted before an audience before they make the transition to a studio. “We’ll never be a traditional studio band,” they state. “The songs are worked out on stage and are meant to be played live.”
As their fanbase grows, one can only guess how this will affect their future sound: will larger audiences result in a more bombastic sound by proxy? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure – it’s going to be a fun ride getting there.