THIS WEEK:WOODMAN STONE
Woodman Stone lives in a cabin in the woods somewhere in the Leicestershire countryside.
He makes wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core. This week see’s the release of his album ‘Someone Else’s Dreams Will Fill Our Home’ and its a 14 track corker.
He’s a lovely fella is Woodman Stone ,a cheeky monkey with a quick wit,a good heart & lots & lots of hair. I know this because I’ve engaged in plenty of banter & friendly warm chats with him on Twitter (more on the hair below).
Joining him on the album is Doug Burgess (bass and guitars), Tony Robinson (brass and keyboards), James Buckley (drums) and the man himself on vocals and guitars.
It really shows that your music is reaching people to have over 48,000 listens for one song on Soundcloud for a new artist- ‘Does Madonna Dream?’ (below).
It doesn’t matter where they are playing it,whether your Nan & your second uncle(twice removed) is pressing repeat a few thousand times,people are loving it because its good solid pop music-add me to that equation please.
Nods of respect are given to some great British pop in the music of the Woodman but I like the original spin he puts on it by using the traditional skills of solid songwriting craftsmanship in his art.As soon as the Woodman opens his mouth you know exactly who this is.Its the voice that identifies it & if it resonates with you-you will be back for more.
I cannot but admire the way ‘Dumbstuck'(below) brings to my mind but an echo of the great Tom Robinson in its style & delivery,very nicely done & much promise to build on for the future.
And lastly I couldn’t resist a nod to the future from Woodman Stone– ‘Empty skies'(below) came too late for the album but deserves a feature as I think its a cracking demo and a sign that there is much more to come from this artist.
Feel free to share the Woodman Stone love dear FOTN reader/listener & tell us what you think.Over to you WS for Prick and Ding 45.
1. What are you up to at the moment?
Drumming up as much interest as I can for my first album – ‘Someone Else’s Dreams Will Fill Our Home’ – which was released just yesterday, while working out how to record the twenty or so songs that I’ve written since making the album as well as catching up on recording the old songs that I still want to set free.
2. Favourite childhood memory?
That’s tough. There isn’t a single moment I can choose but there were a few summers when I lived outside: exploring a lake on a sunken boat I salvaged; playing in an underground den my brother built; damming a stream at the end of our garden; feeling totally free and unencumbered by expectation of adulthood or responsibilities.
Funnily, a couple of hours after I wrote that I came up with a favourite: my dad waking me up with a cup of tea in the morning as he did, Monday to Friday, for years.
Pacifists and conscientious objectors – Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Lennon even. Basically, those who seek profound change without recourse to violence. Anyone that searches for the light is alright by me. It’s so difficult to remain positive and optimistic in the face of the insanity of the world and adding to the aggression and confusion we face makes no sense at all to me. Relentlessly gentle is the water that wears down the rocks of prejudice and inequality!
Michael Gove at the minute. I must be careful with what I say as I don’t want to be libellous. Suffice to say that having been to school doesn’t somehow make you an expert on education and, like his friends in the Department of Health, there appears to be such contempt for the fine people that work so hard, often in extremely challenging circumstances. The back door privatisation of education and health in this country will be remembered as a truly shameful time. Villain? Far worse than that, I’m afraid.
5. What/who makes you laugh?
Being in the moment and riffing off whatever’s happening. Oooh a short answer!
Despite my terribly serious answers here, I do spend a lot my life being inappropriately humorous!
6. Describe what you do?
I try to write very simple songs that could have existed at any time over the past fifty years. I’m not interested in trends or fashion or what I ought to do to stand more chance of ‘success’ whatever that is.
I always start with guitar and some words and pursue a line of interest, usually followed by huge amounts of writing and editing lyrics, honing ideas until I feel I’ve reached a point of clarity. I like to think back to how I first heard music when I was a child and hope I can make myself as understandable as the music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s was to me.
Recording is a process of finding the way to support each song, rather than finding a particular sound as such. Live is whatever noise we can make with whoever I can cajole to join me on stage!
7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
Have you seen my hair? I don’t need anyone else’s – I am blessed with an over abundance of follicles! But if I must choose: Bob Dylan around 1965 or so. I’ve always wanted something with a bit of curl to it!
8. Best musical experience to date
Having people sing along to an unreleased album at a gig is really pretty special I have to say but, other than that, the look on people’s faces when you hit a high note or the silence in a room for that second just after you finish a song really can’t be beaten.
Also, that moment when a new song comes fully clothed in melody and lyric like it’s arrived from another world. I love that!
9. What artist inspires you?
I always find the inspiration thing a bit difficult to be honest. There’s a few greats who influence me but I’m not sure that they inspire me as such. I guess it’s less well known artists that inspire me now because of how they carve their own routes to make a living through music. So, too many to mention but I’ve always liked the way Roddy Frame works, always at his own speed and writing songs the way he wants without compromise. He’s a lyrical inspiration as well.
10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
On a very personal note, last summer it helped me find the strength to carry on with my music when I really needed a boost; support and affirmation from fellow musicians and strangers is such a powerful thing. More generally, it’s a great place to hear new music and make some connections at the same time. Most important is not what it does but how it does it: it’s such a positive resource and so lovingly tended, like a beautiful garden in which to find some solace, away from the mad rush of the rest of the music business.