Don’t sit around thinking that when the chance to show your artistry finally comes around, and it’s the right people, that they are going to sit around waiting for you to bone up, Be ready, get there now. Be the best you can be. The time to shine will come, be ready when the time comes.

Band Name: Madstone
James Stone – Vocals, Guitar, writer
Tommy Souza – Drums and Percussions
Andy Ramos – Bass
Person Interviewing: James Stone
I’ve been playing my whole life, started on cello as a kid, played the Northern Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 1971 as a kid and played quartets at city functions in 9th grade. Got out of high school, played bass for 10 years but always played guitar and wrote music. Been in a band ever since. Tommy has been playing his whole life as well and played with some big names. Sometimes I wonder what he’s doing here with me. Andy is our newest member, he’s been playing his whole life as well. Madstone has had several reincarnations over the years like any band. It’s the music that keeps us together.
Song name: Your Eyes
Music Genre: Rock Ballad, Country
I started out playing the 12 string as a kid. Always had one. As such, my picking was my strong suit in the beginning. This melody and style of picking came out of years of playing around. It’s just pretty. Perhaps the prettiest 12 string picking I’ve ever heard. Over the years, it’s had several sets of lyrics, but this last version is the one. It’s a love song as any pretty song should be. The lead that a previous Madstone lead guitarist put on this is just haunting, also very pretty. And the bass line that Al Young, our previous bass player put on this is really one of the best lines I’ve ever heard, love what he did. Tommy does just exactly what it needed for drums. And even being pretty, the song rocks.

 I’m a rocker, love southern rock. Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchett, love the Outlaws, Steve Ray, ZZ Top, but I also love Led Zeppelin, favorite song is Ramble On, that bass line, Pink Floyd, Comfortably numb, that first lead, and another favorite is Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith. My favorite guitarist though is Michael Schenker, UFO days, Rock Bottom live.
This song, Your Eyes was a very long process, one of those that takes a lifetime. I wrote the melody and the picking back in the 70s. The lyrics as they took several iterations over a 6 month period as it was being recorded separately at a friends studio. Then the members of Madstone got together and re-recorded it again, making changes as we went. The final recording is absolutely perfect this time. I think every musician writes a couple tunes early in their life that don’t get heard until many years later. That’s why you see so many bands with one CD and they can’t come up with anything better after that. Madstone is still creating.
Heavy Thunder is our 3rd effort, best yet, better to come, already we have at least 3 tunes ready to record. Your Eyes is off the 2nd CD, the orange one.
I live in Temple Texas, I spend most of my time playing music. I write software for a living and it enables me to play whenever I want. I’m finishing up our new studio in our huge 4 car garage and that takes a lot of time. But mostly, I like to play, to entertain, and the travel and lifestyle being a musician can bring you.

Be ready when the time comes.

Don’t sit around thinking that when the chance to show your artistry finally comes around, and it’s the right people, that they are going to sit around waiting for you to bone up, Be ready, get there now. Be the best you can be. The time to shine will come, be ready when the time comes.

We recently, last year moved to Texas. I have our studio half done, the control room is done. Still need to add insulation, sheet rock, texture, and paint for the playing area. Can’t wait. Since I moved to Texas, seems I needed to bone up on some Stevie Ray Vaughn. So I’ve been working on Texas Flood, Pride and Joy, and some others. We have 3 CDs, but one still needs to play covers. We don’t like doing anything that we can’t do at least as well or better than the original or at least make it our own. On the 2nd CD, the orange one, same one that Your Eyes is on, we did a remake of 2 tunes, Sweet Melissa by the Allman Brothers and one of my favorites, Highway Song by Blackfoot, We like to play that as an encore tune at gigs.

3 Things I have learned this past year: 1. It’s hard to get to Texas (working on the words for this) it was an expensive and arduous move 1600 miles)

2. I love Texas, absolutely love it here, everything about it so far. My Dad’s side of the family is from West Texas, so in a way, it’s jusy coming back home.

3. Shows like AVA Radio are just one of the ways to market your music that every band should be open to. Things are happening for Madstone, little by little, and you have to market your music.

There’s a reason we’re here in Texas now, that we have the resources to build a really dang nice studio, the equipment we need, the trucks, trailers, everything. And Andy Ramos is on board, what a great find and fit for us and the strangest part is he lives less than 3 miles away. There was probably nobody else that can fit in with us within 50 miles we’ve come to find out. And he fits so well. We really just can’t wait for folks around here to find out who we are, who they have right here in Temple. We’ll be playing Austin shortly as well. As soon as this studio is done, we’ll be recording, like I said, there are at least 3 tunes to get down already, one is a remake of Down By The River that we absolutely rock. It’s hardly recognizable from the original Neil Young or Buddy Miles versions. Anyway, we’re looking forward to a great year.

Website & social media links:

Instagram – madstonemusic