A lot of things happened back in 2007. Bulgaria and Romania officially joined the European Union, Congress elects Nancy Pelosi as the first female speaker of the house, Steve Jobs of Apple announces the first iPhone and Eric Stone releases his full studio band CD “Trinidad to Tortola.”
Now it’s 2012, so what’s new? Cruise ship, Costa Concordia, runs aground at Isola de Giglio, Italy, the FBI shuts down Megaupload.com for alleged copyright infringement, the world will end December 21 and Eric Stone releases his latest full studio band CD, “Time To Fly.”
“Time To Fly” can be described in one word, inspiration but that would make for a very short article so I will elaborate. The first thing you will notice when listening to “Time To Fly” is that it has a theme. Just as “Trinidad To Tortola” was themed after a musical journey through the Caribbean, “Time To Fly” is themed after following your dreams. The CD is loaded with uplifting music and lyrics.
Eric cut no corners in the studio on this one either. He has once again employed the services of Emmy award winning producer, engineer and studio owner Kenny Royster. The entire CD was recorded with Kenny at the helm of his studio Direct Image in Nashville, TN. Eric called in some his most talented friends for this project. The studio band is A-List all the way with some very impressive resumes:
Pat McGrath – Stephanie Bentley/Garth Brooks
John Willis – Gretchen Wilson/Shania Twain
Bruce Watkins – 30 yr studio veteran
Eric Stone – Duh, that’s me
Dennis Wage – Academy Of Country Music Star/Many Others
Dennis Holt – Kansas, Taylor Swift
Nick Buda – Taylor Swift
Jon Conley – Kenny Chesney
Jeff King – Reba McEntire
Dave Francis – Pam Tillis/Leroy Parnell/Patty Loveless
Jimmy Carter – Thirty Five #1 records
Steve Mackey – Faith Hill
Steve Herman – Delbert McClinton/Kenny Chesney
Percussion & More Cow Bell
Gary Haas – Eric Stone Band
The audio fidelity of this CD is impressive. Every song has been carefully arranged by Eric to include some memorable signature licks and solos. What stands out the most though in this CD is the songwriting. It’s apparent when hearing it that Eric took his time writing and arranging this CD. He has definitely raised the bar on this recording. The CD starts out strong with Eric’s version of Roger Clyne’s (The Refreshments) Americano and continues to take chances throughout. It is chock full of inspirational and uplifting stories and builds through the journey. Ave de Paso (Bird of Passage) is classic Eric Stone storytelling. This song spins a tale of an old man in the sea type character who is as salty as they come. The old man docks his beat up boat at a bayside bar where he proceeds to come in and tell his tales on the high seas to a couple inside the bar. By the end of the song it is apparent that the couple’s on-land lives parallel the old man’s at-sea life and the name exemplifies their life as well. In the end they trade in their jet setting lives and sail away in the old man’s boat and continue his journey for him. Ave de Paso is also the name of Eric Stone and Kim Hess’ 41 Morgan Classic sailboat.
Another classic Eric Stone story song is Jimmy’s Drive-In; a true tale of one of Eric’s friends from the Virgin Islands. This song is the inspiring story of a man’s desire to change his life from his back room bar upbringing in West Texas to pursue his dreams in the beautiful Caribbean. In this song Eric combines the stylings of the Allman Brother’s (Midnight Rider) with the outlaw country sound of Merle Haggard (Pancho & Lefty) along with Eric’s smooth Nautical Americana vocals.
Every song on “Time To Fly” is memorable in its own way including the theme song which is about as moving as any song I’ve ever heard. It seems as though Eric has no B-sides on this CD. If you’ve never ordered an Eric Stone CD or you already have his entire collection to date on your boat then do yourself a favor and give this CD a spin. It hasn’t left my CD player since I received it.