Stone Foundation today announced a new single release from their album ‘Street Rituals’. Featuring the unmistakable vocal power of US soul legend Bettye LaVette, ‘Season of Change’ is Stone Foundation at the peak of their political and social awareness. ‘Season of Change’ is a song that perfectly highlights the world’s inability to prevent itself from repeating past mistakes, but with a distinct message of hope in that we can all do something to change the course of the negative decisions of the people in power.
The music video for ‘Season of Change’ also perfectly illustrates everything the band passionately care about in their songwriting; social justice and action by the man on the street, whoever and wherever you are. However big or small the issues you face – everyone should make their feelings known and take ownership. The powerful clip features news footage from decades of international oppression, including footage of the recent worldwide Women’s March, but also reinforcing the bands firm belief that there will always be those people striving to do good for others….and that we need much more of those ‘Street Rituals’. Especially it would seem, in 2017.
Stone Foundation’s Neil Jones on the song: “It’s that age-old conundrum of the human race never seeming to learn from past mistakes. When will we pull together and stop fighting each other?!? We wanted to have a gritty southern soul feel to the song to convey the passion and urgency of the lyrics….and Bettye tells a story like no other singer really. To hear her voice expressing the lyrics of ‘Season of Change’ adds more weight and belief to a song we are really proud of.”
The bands Neil Sheasby adds: “We always heard a female voice to put the message of ‘Season of Change’ across and who better than Bettye LaVette? She is the singer’s singer. A bona fide voice of authenticity and authority. When Bettye sings people listen. She commands respect and makes sentiments such as ‘Season of Change’ utterly believable. I think it’s also a great testament to both our band & the writing that soul legends of Bettye’s standing and magnitude agree to get involved.” “The sentiment of ‘Season of Change’ is key to the whole idea of the album ‘Street Rituals’. From the beginning of political history, the street has been the bona-fide arena of social warfare.” “The street is a way of communication, where minority voices have always been heard. Maybe the last resort for confrontation but it sure enough can gather a pace & initiate real change.”
‘Street Rituals’ is released on 31st March via 100% Records and the band have announced a string of dates that will see the Midlands band play 9 shows across the UK, kicking things off in Brighton on the 27th April and completing the tour in Edinburgh on 19th May. Stone Foundation also recently announced that they will be supporting Paul Weller at his Teenage Cancer Trust headline show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 31st March – the same day ‘Street Rituals’ is released.
‘Street Rituals’ features ten new songs with a major contribution from Paul Weller as well as vocal contributions from both William Bell and Bettye Lavette. It is the band’s 4th studio album & is produced by Weller, who also features on all the tracks (lending his piano, guitar & vocal skills in on various levels and even taking lead vocal duty on ‘Your Balloon Is Rising’ – a track NME recently described as “a fittingly blissful and classic touch of majestic soul”). Having followed Stone Foundation’s progress closely over the years, Paul personally contacted the band to propose the idea of working together, initially on one specific track, but having enjoyed the process so much, the resulting ten compositions on ‘Street Rituals’ now all have musical input from Paul. Two songs – ‘The Limit of a Man’ & ‘Colour Of’ – are co-writes with a Jones/Sheasby/Weller credit.
Paul Weller on Stone Foundation: “These are dark, dark times so I was glad to hear a positive voice and vibrations in the words and a joy in the music…what a pleasure and a privilege it was to work with these fellas”. “It’s their best songwriting to date, and I just hope people get to hear it because there are some great tunes and I like the message on the record. I like the social comment, because you have so little of that these days.”
With an extraordinary history of constant surprises and success against the odds, ‘Street Rituals’ feels like the culmination of years of hard work paying off for Stone Foundation, as they continue to develop their strong, mature and accomplished style of soul on a much broader scale. Don’t miss them live at one of the following dates.
The full tour details and ticket links are as follows: