Graham Stone

Graham Stone

Brackish Water Jamboree, Rebekah Rafferty and the Wakes, Pat Keefe

Wed, June 20, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Camel

$5.00

Tickets at the Door

Graham Stone
Graham Stone
Born and raised in Virginia, Graham has been crafting his solo sound for over a decade. He's been writing original music since he first picked up the guitar at about fifteen years old, but the first real public expression to be found was in the collaboration band Karla and the Brotherhood.
Named after Graham's sister Karla, K&TB had a core membership comprised of siblings and spouses but displayed in various iterations of family and friends. Though they've been playing music together for years, in 2015, Karla and the Brotherhood released their first six-song, self-titled EP. At this point, they've played all across the Old Dominion from Warrenton to Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley and everywhere in between.

In 2016, Graham started working towards his first solo record set to be released in 2017. This project draws from both the past and present as Graham releases little pieces of himself. “Some of these songs were written 10 years ago and some of them were written last summer out on the road with my wife.”
The song Flowers in Montana is a road song; written during a visit to Glacier National Park. “It’s really a song to my daughter Katrianna. I'll never forget the overwhelming need to get those words down on paper. Looking at it now, the song kind of visits the concepts of age and memory. Loneliness and togetherness. Life and death. And all of that just kind of poured itself out of me over the course of a few minutes.”

Juxtapose that against a song like Meaningless--one Graham wrote ten years ago while living in Charlottesville and you’ll have a picture of the continuum this album finds itself spanning. “Meaningless is a kind of story about a man coming to the end of his life and recognizing that much of what he’s given himself to doesn’t really matter once he’s gone. But it’s written through the eyes of a young guy who still might be able to learn some from the older man's realization. I think a couple years back I saw myself somehow as a mix up of those two characters and knew that I wanted to try and make sure the rest of my life was lived less in the futility and meaninglessness that sort of haunts the old man.”

The lyrics and demeanor of this music offer an honesty and a sort of welcoming that directly connect the listener with each song up as a story. You can tell straight away that his music was influenced by folk music storytellers like Bob Dylan and John Prine. It's also easy to draw stylistic comparisons to Americana singer-songwriters like the Avett Brothers or Jason Isbell. But when you ask Graham himself, he actually cites blues and bluegrass as some of the biggest influences on him growing up.
“I was kind of a wild child growing up as a kid--all energy and no control. Back then I listened to a bunch of punk rock and metal bands. While I still really enjoy some of that stuff, my music foundation has sort of shifted as I've gotten older and just generally more boring. Growing up my dad was always this huge blues guy…B.B. King, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy…that type of stuff. So we had all these great blues records laying around the house and at some point I guess I sort of made my way back to those early roots and became a big fan of guys like that, guys like Lightin Hopkins, Bill Williams and Mississippi John Hurt. But my dad was also a really into the likes of Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs and between those guys and John Prine I sort of found myself in what felt to me like my natural home. The record that I'd say probably had the most staying power and influence on me was a Doc Watson record called Praying Ground. Even though I'm not anywhere near talented enough to actually do any kind of flatpicking or play proper bluegrass music—-that won’t ever stop me from enjoying it. I think my wife and I probably listen to more bluegrass together than just about any other genre. It's good for squaredancing.”

When asked if his dad is a Prine or an Isbell fan, he responded quickly “Oh yeah I don’t think I'll ever know a bigger Prine fan than my old man. He’ll tell you himself that John Prine is his favorite songwriter. Hands down. As a matter of fact, on the day I was born my dad had tickets to see John Prine play at Wolf Trap and I'm pretty sure he still made it to the show. Now I don't really know how much my dad listens to Jason Isbell, but for me, it was so wonderful finding these guys who played in bands I used to listen to Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Jason Isbell (Drive by Truckers) branch out into their solo acts and sort of come into their own that way, and all three of those guys have had a huge impact on the kind of music I want to create and to share."

For Graham, this whole project is about storytelling. Some of the stories are about people, some are about places, some are about perspective and some are visceral mix of all three. "I'm a better person when I'm writing and playing music. It helps me remember who I'm meant to be. And it's intensely personal. So after I finally decided on which songs I felt ok about sharing with others, my goal then became to try and engage the listener with the story. To bring them along to experience all the elements and emotions laid bare in each song and to hopefully allow folks to experience those things together. So here goes nothing."
Brackish Water Jamboree
Brackish Water Jamboree
Rebekah Rafferty and the Wakes
Rebekah Rafferty and the Wakes
Pat Keefe
Pat Keefe
(of Dalton Dash)
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org