Winter Park / Live Music: At the intersection of funk and groove |

Winter Park / Live Music: At the intersection of funk and groove

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

The Stone Trio band is gearing up to lead Winter Park Pub patrons to Funky Town tonight, but they most likely won’t take the main road to get there.

The band, with its solid-as-a-rock funk base, is known for its experimentation within the genre and winds through the scenic byways of 1960s New Orleans funk, which cross the avenues of modern psychedelic jams.

Bassist Bo “Bobo” Hallford said the band, based out of Tulsa, Okla., is reminiscent of The Meters, with “nice melodies on top of cool grooves” as “Neo-Orleans wundergroovery” and “psychedelic funk supreme.”

He and band members Chris Combs (electric and lap steel guitar) and Andrew Bones (drums and keyboard) are excited to come through the Fraser Valley on their way through about half a dozen tour dates in Colorado. This week, they played at the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen and the First Street Pub in Nederland before hopping over the Continental Divide to play at the Pub, with at least two shows to follow on the Front Range.

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“We’re all about the live show,” Hallford said.

All three received classic music training in and throughout their school years, but more importantly, Combs said, they play full time and act as their own managers, booking and press agents. Combs, who has been on tour with Jacob Fred Jazz Oddysey, said he wanted to be a musician “from day one.” He is also great improviser, said Hallford (who also used to play with Combs for the band Harmonious Monk which has played in Grand County before, as has the Jacob Fred Jazz Oddysey).

Influences are varied and wide, listing musicians like The Beatles (whom all their fathers loved, according to Combs), James Brown, Louie Armstrong, Bob Marley and Wu Tang, intertwined with some humorous inspirations to include bourbon whisky, 100-percent whole wheat, and women. They’re also grateful to have shared the stage with such acts as The Roots, EOTO, Zappa Plays Zappa, Bill Frisell, Leftover Salmon and the Yonder Mountain String Band.

This will be the Stone Trio’s debut performance in Grand County and Hallford said they wanted to liven things up since they were taking the show on the road. They recorded an Extended Play CD in February and will showcase “six or so” new songs, never performed before a live audience, at the Pub Friday.

The new stuff is even more experimental, what Hallford calls “soundscapey” with songs “that make you think.” They have used “all sorts of adjectives” to describe the music they play: “dank, dirty, heady, nasty, life-changing, super duper, and crazy-hella-mega-tight,” their MySpace page states, simplifying it as just “three dudes forged together by a love for healing groovery.”

“Our purpose is to spread inspiring and healing energy through harmony and syncopation,” Hallford said. “Music is the most abstract and powerful of all the arts … we are grateful to share ourselves.”

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