Neil Jones, Stone Foundation.
While working on my #BrumCreatives project, it’s always interesting to find out that someone you hadn’t thought was a Brummie, turns out to be one!
Neil Jones is co writer and lead singer with Paul Weller produced and championed soul band, Stone Foundation and is originally from Sutton Coldfield.
The musical bond between Neil Sheasby and Neil Jones is as concrete as their band name: Stone Foundation. It needed to be to survive over a decade of trial, error and frequent returns to the drawing board before finding the right direction, one that’s finally led them to Street Rituals, an album that is both rainbow’s end to their journey so far and starting pistol for new adventures to come. Produced by and featuring Paul Weller, its ten tracks realise Stone Foundation’s vision of a vibrant modern UK soul band, the kind who can play with the best of the genre’s American legends including Bettye LaVette and Stax’s William Bell while never losing their own distinctly British identity – the sound of Memphis, via the Midlands. “It’s the same mod ethic as the first Style Council album which had a lot of guests,” says Sheasby, “or Massive Attack’s Blue Lines. That’s sort of the mind-set we have. Making soul music without being a retro pastiche but bringing something new to the party.” “We’re obviously influenced by the music we grew up with,” adds Jones, “but we want to take that music forward. Really, it’s reminding people what modernism is actually about. Creating something for now.”
For Weller, working with Stone Foundation has been “a privilege”. “I think they’ve made a great bit of work with a strong message, one you don’t hear much about these days,” says Weller. “A very mature, very accomplished album and I’m glad to have been part of it.” Strong, mature and accomplished, Street Rituals is the proudest testament yet to the unbreakable soul brotherhood of Sheasby and Jones. Never has their Stone Foundation sounded more solid.
Shot at #acefacebarbers just before their gig at the 02 Acacemy, just over the road.
Thanks to Craig Millard at Ace Face Barbers and Neil Jones for giving me some time. We really enjoyed the gig, n’all!
See more of my #BrumCreatives project here – www.iandaviesphoto.com/portrait