Marc Stone Shining Like A Diamond is out now

Article Contributed by gratefulweb | Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Starting with socially distanced sessions and emailed tracks in the early days of the pandemic, progressing through the chaotic, stop-and-go re-emergence of live music and travel, Marc Stone drew together a diverse cast of musicians from different corners of his musical life to create his first studio album to follow his two most recent releases - 2023's full band "Live at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2023" (Munck Music) and a stunning solo performance captured on 2019's "Live at Tipitina's" (Independent).

Whether it's the haunting Americana duet "When We Were Cheating" featuring Meschiya Lake, the groovin' Soul/Rock workout "I Wasn't Lonely" driven to the edge by Mike Dillon's punkadelic vibraphone solo and Stone's wah-wah wildness, the soul-drenched plea of "Love Is Everything" featuring the George Porter Trio and Joy Clark, the cutting commentary and star-studded Delta stomp of "Digitized" powered by Leo Nocentelli's blistering electric guitar, Alvin "Youngblood" Hart, Marilyn Barbarin, and Papa Mali, and Stone's National Steel slide, or the southern rock fueled title track graced by Stone's Garcia tinged guitar and a soaring vocal arrangement, "Shining Like A Diamond" packs a lot of soul into eight songs over a mere 33 minutes and change while still allowing the songs and stories to breathe.

The new album's stylistic breadth and stellar cast are a natural outgrowth of Stone's many years of fostering collaborations across genre and generational lines. Nearly all of the album's guest artists have participated in Marc's all-star and specialty projects. The creative process behind the album was a deeply felt musical journey. Marc expresses, "These songs are very personal for me, and the experience of creating new music during the pandemic was intense, cathartic, and necessary for all of us. I never try to write in the sound of a city or style; I just try to tell the stories in whatever way seems natural and honest. But I don't think this record could have happened anywhere but New Orleans. When I listen back to these tracks, I feel like the whole world of New Orleans music I've been fortunate to be a part of for so long came together to help me sing my songs in my own voice."

The result is "Shining Like A Diamond," a collection of 8 original songs. Traversing multiple pathways through the American musical landscape, the album showcases Stone's finely tuned songwriting skills, soulful vocals, masterful touch on guitar, 8-string Dobro and lap steel, and a slew of incredible performers. Never one to lean on well-worn forms and contrived chops showcases, Stone draws inspiration from every corner.