“My favorite part about this song is that everything in it is going on in my life, and when I got done writing it, I loved it so much,” said the Michigan native. “I didn’t even realize it until I started sending it out that it really related to so many people. That was my favorite part about the song. I was just talking about my family and how we’re American style. It’s not just the Mom & Dad & Kids thing. It’s all these different people in our lives, and the situation that we’re all in. So, I thought it was really, really cool when I realized it applied to everyone. I could see it every night when we played it live----People are just going nuts over it. The house that I wrote about went back to the bank in December, so it’s just the truth. I think that people will be able to feel it.”
Still, the past few years have been very good to Stone. How he came to the attention of his record company is a story for the ages. “Actually, a friend of mine was at a basketball game, and he noticed that Kid Rock was a few seats down from him. He just happened to have one of my demos on him, so he worked up his courage, and went down and told him ‘I think you should hear this kid. He’s from Detroit like you are, and he’s got a lot of soul. You should take a listen to him.” Kid Rock, a.k.a. Bob Ritchie, did just that.
“So sure enough, one night I was at work flipping hamburgers at this bar in Los Angeles, and my phone rings. I didn’t recognize the number, so I sent it straight to voicemail and put it back in my pocket. Fifteen minutes or so later, when I went on break, I checked it. The message said ‘Hey, this is Kid Rock. I want to talk to you about your future and your music.’ It all started just like that. He took me under his wing, actually moved me into his house, and let me live there,” Stone says.
It definitely was an experience beyond his wildest dreams. “We worked on my record there, and he introduced me to all his friends. I was shaking hands with Elton John, Axl Rose, and Hank Williams, Jr. I sat around a campfire with Hank singing songs. I feel like I’ve lived all of my wildest fantasies. They’ve all come true. It’s such a pleasure to be making a living doing what I want to do. It’s a total dream come true.”
Stone was very excited to have Kid Rock serve as the Executive Producer for his debut album, tentatively set for release later in 2011. Kid Rock’s love of all formats of music---especially Country---make the man who he is musically, he said. “I think he is a true student of music. He’s told me stories of when he was four, five, or six years old standing in his dad’s barn, singing old Kenny Rogers songs and Hank Williams, Jr. songs. He is a human jukebox of Country Music and many different genres. I think that’s why he’s as successful as he is as an artist. He knows every word and every lyric to every song I’ve heard in my life,” he says with a sense of bewilderment.
What can fans expect on the album? Stone describes his style as a mix of Bill Withers and Bob Seger. “I love that. I think that Michigan has so many soulful artists because you have the Motown Soul era, and all these people that moved here in the 50s and 60s looking for auto work from Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia, like my grandparents. So, no matter if you’re doing Country or even Rap or Rock, the Detroit artists have soul. That’s where the Bill Withers reference comes from, and Bob Seger, I think, is from that whole blue collar part of my music, that just has to do with where I’m from. I’ve worked at Ford Motor Company, and Great Lakes Steel Mill. I’ve had an opportunity to go through all that stuff. I love that comparison.”
He’s so enamored of the leader of the Silver Bullet Band, that one of the songs on the album is called “Bob Seger.” Of the tribute, he said that “I’m a huge fan of Bob Seger, and that song is about my musical influences, and the effect that they have had on my life.”
Stone was recently in Nashville, making friends at radio during the annual Country Radio Seminar. He said having lived in Nashville before (and currently), it was a learning experience. “It was my first time at CRS, but I’ve lived in Nashville before. All I had to deal with then was the extra traffic, so it was cool to be there, and see what goes on.”
For more on Ty Stone and his music, log on to his website!
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Also, check out our Ones To Watch in 2011 feature, of which Ty Stone is a part of.