RB Stone is a singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. A bluesman, he’s got a background in country and Americana, with his most recent album being a collaboration with Ben Rice titled “Out of the Box” released in 2020. Stone has played in over 30 countries, has sold over 40,000 albums, and has won a myriad of awards.
ME: How did you get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?
RB: Well, last summer I was playing up in Maine for the North Atlantic Blues Festival, and we got there early. I noticed Allison with Paul Benjamin (who runs the festival), so I stuck my hand out and introduced myself to her and we got to chatting it up. I love going to Wisconsin; there’s some radio stations that play my music up there, and so one thing led to another and I joined up. I was able to do a couple shows there a few months ago.
ME: Awesome! Wisconsin likes to party, for sure. Often, that involves live music.
RB: (laughs) Well, you’ve got Milwaukee being famous for beer and motorcycles, and I guess that equals party.
ME: Spot on.
ME: You live in Nashville, right?
RB: I’m not from there; I was born in southern Indiana and grew up in Ohio, then moved to Colorado when I was 22 and traveled around. My first time moving there was in ’87 and I’ve been in and out since then. I still keep a place there now but this time of year I’m in Ohio; it’s probably 10 or 15 degrees cooler. When it cools off, I go south.
ME: Nice. I’ve never been to Nashville but would love to experience it in the summer sometime.
RB: Yeah, when I first went there it was pretty much just country music and some bluegrass. Now it’s got everything. Everyone seems to think it’s the hippest place to be so they’ve all decided to move there. There’s a lot going on, no doubt.
ME: Right on. It’s on my list, for sure.
ME: I was looking at your website and saw that you’ve played in Greenland?
RB: Yeah, I sure did. It was at Thule Air Force Base and it was interesting. We were playing till about 6AM and it looked like the sun was just setting. It was different in the sense that you’re in a very different part of the world and it’s an acquired lifestyle, if you’re going to be there for any length of time.
ME: I could see that. That’s another place that’s on my list but much different than Nashville.
RB: Iceland is another place you’d want to go. It has more people and a lot of really cool things. Greenland is definitely worth going to see, though. We didn’t get to see much; we were stuck on the base. A lot of the military bases that I’ve been to over the years, they’ll take you on a tour around the area but not so much there.
ME: Still definitely a once in a lifetime type of experience.
ME: Tell me a little bit about your most recent album, “Out of the Box.”
RB: That’s a couple years old; I’m sitting here writing the next one. I really like that record; I did it with Ben Rice, and Ben’s dad builds different types of cigar box-type guitars, and the washboard guitars were the ones we used of his plus a couple of mine. We came up with what I think is a unique album; the goal was to make it sound somewhat like a normal record but with those type of guitars to show that they’re not just one speed. I think we accomplished it; some of it has that traditional cigar box sound and you’d never know.
ME: Awesome; thanks for sharing!
ME: My last question is, what do you have going on in the next few months?
RB: Well, I don’t know when I’ll record this next one but probably no later than December, I hope. I may do an acoustic songwriter album before that because I’ve got a ton of tunes that just need to be recorded even if it’s just guitar, vocals and harmonica. The one that I’m writing is in my wheelhouse; it’s country-blues with some southern rock and swampy stuff. I’m really picky with lyrics so I take my time to come up with the best unpredictable message that I can get.