Kid Rock protégé has major label release and Tuesday show
Published: March 14, 2012
"I had been playing with great musicians, but it was different guys every time, and so we couldn't take it up to the next level," Stone says. "I really wanted to find guys who were not well-known in the scene, not necessarily instantly recognizable. People told me that I was making a fool of myself by doing the show like that, but I didn't care. I've never cared about what people think."
Stone's been working, to be sure, but the real work starts now that his album's finally out. Stone's policy of getting out there and playing to the folks as often as possible will, if anything, pick up the pace. And he will have to promote like hell if he wants Atlantic to release the next one.
"I believe in the contract, they have options to put out the next," Stone says. "I think with me, that runs up to record number seven. They've been very smart with me though. ... they know I'm not going to compete with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. They've just gone after country radio and TV."
Kid Rock's belief in Stone is unwavering and he continues to take him out on tour as he did last summer, hitting arenas around the country.
"I did two Kid Rock tours, and they were fantastic," Stone says. "One of them was acoustic, and that's intense because you really have to bring it. You have to be ballsy to get up in front of thousands of Kid Rock fans every night with an acoustic guitar. Playing at Ford Field is an amazing experience. It's great when people see me come on stage and think I'm some asshole guitar tech, and then I start wailing. I've done these tours with him, and he's always been supportive of me on his website. He's constantly stepped up. When the album was delayed and everything looked dead, he did everything he could to keep it alive."
For his part, Kid Rock says, "Ty is a world-class singer and songwriter, sometimes it's frustrating that we don't celebrate those qualities as much as we used to in music. Ty's singing and songs turned me on to him, plain and simple."
Stone really isn't about image or scenes, or being seen in all the right places. He's about singing, playing his guitar and writing songs — that's his work. That's what he does. He might spend 50-something days out of the year working in Nashville, but he's a Detroit boy who simply wants to go to work.
Fellow Detroit alt-country outlaw Don "Doop" Duprie appreciates hard work as much as the next guy and says Stone plays guitar the same way Jackie Gleason played pool in The Hustler. Duprie and Stone have been helping each other out since they were kids, and he believes Stone can play pretty much anything as long as you give him a few minutes to figure it out. He also says Stone's attitude has always been that he'll kick down the front door of the music business. "That's always been his attitude and he is doing it."
That's how Stone does it; it's a mindset that allows him to say, "Fuck you" to those who judge him by his weight.
The flipside to that is his sensitivity, which often defines his proletariat country anthems. When Atlantic does send him to spend time in Nashville, he misses home. In his song "Blessed St. Anthony," he sings: I've got Detroit on my mind, Jesus have mercy ... Won't you bless all my friends back in Detroit city.
"Of course," he says. "All my family and friends are here. I spend more time here, to be fair. It's just work. Atlantic wanted to work the Nashville market and, if you're on a major and they ask you to go to Nashville, of course you go."
Ty pauses for a moment, and then finishes with the words that'll put him in the good graces of his other half: "I miss my girl when I'm away."
Ty Stone plays the Fillmore with Frankie Ballard, Brandon Calhoon, Paulina Jayne, Doop & the Inside Outlaws, and the School of Rock Band on Tuesday, March 20; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450. His American Style album is available now. For more information, visit tystonemusic.com.
> Email Brett Callwood