Formed in December 2010, StoneHouse – usually a three-piece blues rock outfit – put their electric instruments aside, donned acoustic instruments and drafted in an upright bassist for an unplugged session recorded live on a balmy Sunday afternoon in the foothills of Snowdonia in April 2011. The tunes are blues-infused and poetic, the themes taking on original but no less touching twist. Three of the nine tunes are sung in Welsh, and whether or not you understand the language, the feeling in Roberts' voice is enough to convey the sentiment of each song. And, better than that, they confirm that music transcends the limits of language to touch somewhere deeper than our shallow surfaces. Colin Roberts' bluesy lead vocal is warm and soulful, infusing his lyrics, whether in English or Welsh, with a heartfelt melody that's laidback, emotive and highly evocative. The combined guitar work of Roberts and Nathan Owen is balanced between the fingerpicked and the rhythmic, the lead work functioning to enhance each song, occasionally adding a melodic counterpoint to embellish the tunes. And Dei Elfryn's percussion work is wonderfully understated, underpinning and augmenting the band's dynamics. Guest bassist Owen Evans makes his presence felt with lines that both support and embellish the songs, the occasional and very effective melodic flourish making an appearance. With this kind of emotive strength when performed acoustically, when these guys plug in, it must be something special.
Head over to their ReverbNation page to check out all the songs.
- Winter Time
- Wrth Dy Ddrws (sung in Welsh)
- Into Stone
- Amgylchiadau (sung in Welsh)
- Ceidward (sung in Welsh)
- Grains of Freedom