Stone Foundation: A Musical Journey 25 Years Unveiled

Stone Foundation: A Musical Journey of 25 Years Unveiled


Stone Foundation, a British soul band, has carved out a remarkable path in the music industry over the span of 25 years. Since their formation in the mid-1990s, the band has undergone an incredible evolution, continuously pushing boundaries and honing a unique sound that effortlessly fuses soul, funk, jazz, and rock elements. Their journey has been defined by unwavering determination, and commitment to creating music that resonates and connects with their audience. In this article, I will attempt to delve into the rich history of Stone Foundation’s musical journey, spanning a quarter-century of remarkable achievements and soulfulexcellence. I have done my best to mention and explore the transformative growth, notable milestones, and enduring impact of this extraordinary band. So, let’s uncover the compelling story behind Stone Foundation’s rise to prominence and their enduring influence on the music scene.

Formation and Early Years:


Stone Foundation was founded in 1998 by Neil Sheasby (bass) and Neil Jones (vocals and guitar) in the West Midlands, England. Inspired by their shared love for soul music and the Motown sound, they set out to create a band that would pay homage to the rich traditions of the genre while adding their own unique touch. In their early years, Stone Foundation focused on perfecting their live performances, honing their musical skills, and developing their songwriting abilities. They performed extensively in the local music scene, building a dedicated fan base and attracting attention with their infectious grooves and soulful melodies.

Debut Album and Recognition:


In 2005, Stone Foundation made their debut with the release with “In Our Time.” This album showcased the band’s ability to capture the essence of classic soul while infusing it with a modern sensibility. However, their sound during this in my view had a distinct folk rock soulful vibe, which is a significant contrast to the sound they are known for today.

The album’s title song, “In Our Time,” is  a stand out which incorporates elements of folk and rock to create a distinctive but in many ways still incorporates the recognisable soulful sound we know of the band today. After the release of “In Our Time,” Stone Foundation embarked on a transformative musical journey. Their sound has evolved considerably, exploring new sonic territories and incorporating diverse influences. While their current sound may differ greatly from their early folk rock soulful style, the album remains a crucial milestone in their artistic development.

Their evolution as musicians and their commitment to artistic growth have allowed Stone Foundation to create a sound that is entirely their own. With each subsequent release, they consistently bring something new and fresh to their music, building upon the foundation of their previous work. Stone Foundation captivates audiences and pushes the boundaries of their sound while still retaining the core elements that define the band’s unique style – soulful vocals, infectious grooves, and thoughtfully crafted songwriting.

Supporting The Specials Expanding their fan base


In 2011, Stone Foundation had the incredible opportunity to support The Specials, which acted as a huge leap forward and notable period in their career. As a band known for their soulful sound and diverse musical influences, Stone Foundation was well-suited to complement The Specials’ and this undoubtedly exposed Stone Foundation to a wider audience and provided them with the chance to perform on larger stages. The opportunity to perform alongside such an influential and respected band not only added to their credibility but also allowed Stone Foundation to further develop their own musical identity and expand their fan base. Just another notable aspect to mention is Stone Foundation’s brilliant 2012 cover of “Sock it to me JB,” which was released with proceeds going to Teenage Cancer Trust.

Musical Evolution and Critical Acclaim:


Throughout their illustrious 25-year career, Stone Foundation have consistently pushed the boundaries of their sound and captivated audiences with their musical prowess. A significant milestone in their journey came with the release of their fourth studio album, “Street Rituals,” in 2017. This album, released under the 100% Records label, showcased the band’s evolution and featured an impressive collaboration with Paul Weller.

Impressed by Stone Foundation’s previous releases, Paul Weller personally reached out to the band with a proposal to work together. What initially started as a collaboration on a single track quickly blossomed into something more substantial. Weller’s contributions to “Street Rituals” extended beyond just one song, as he added his musical talents to almost every track on the album. From playing piano, autoharp and guitar to providing vocals, Weller’s involvement brought a new dimension to the Stone Foundation’s music.

The album was recorded at Black Barn Studios, It also featured soul legends William Bell and Bettye LaVette, with each contributing to a track. The album achieved success, breaking into the Top 40 and became another defining moment in the bands  journey

Following the release of “Street Rituals,” Stone Foundation swiftly followed up with a live album titled “Live Rituals,” recorded at Islington Assembly Hall on May 13th, 2017. The live album featured guest appearances from Paul Weller, Dr. Robert (The Blow Monkeys), and Danny Champ (of Danny & the Champions of the World).

The impact of working with Paul Weller and the brilliance of “Street Rituals” as an album cannot be overstated.The bands creative prowess,  creativity and storytelling through song elevated them to new heights and showcased their immense talents. In their 25-year journey, “Street Rituals” remains, in my opinion, a standout moment in their discography and journey.

Other Collaborations and Collaborators:


Stone Foundation’s musical journey has been enriched by collaborations with notable musicians who share their artistic vision. In addition to Paul Weller, Stone Foundation has worked with a diverse range of artists, including Nolan Porter, Bettye LaVette, Graham Parker, and Carleen Anderson. These collaborations have added depth and variety to their music, further cementing their status as a respected and influential band.

Everybody, Anyone: Stone Foundation’s Collaborative Brilliance and Reunion of Musical Icons”


In 2018, Stone Foundation wasted no time in releasing their album “Everybody, Anyone,” which featured 11 new tracks. Once again, the band recorded the album at Paul Weller’s renowned Black Barn Studios, with engineering and recording handled by Charles Rees. The collaborative spirit between Stone Foundation and Paul Weller continued, as Paul contributed his talents to five tracks on the album. The album also featured notable guest appearances, including Kathryn Williams on “Don’t Walk Away” and Hamish Stuart on “Only You Can.” A truly remarkable moment on the album was the reunion of three Style Councillors: Paul Weller, Mick Talbot, and Steve White. This marked their first time playing together on a record since the release of Paul Weller’s album Stanley Road.


Photo ©️Mick Peek


Is Love Enough? Stone Foundation’s Neo-Soul Evolution and Pandemic Resilience


A soulful Pandemic In September 2020, Stone Foundation unveiled their latest offering, “Is Love Enough?” This album showcased a change in style for the band, as they embraced what they referred to as neo-soul.” The album featured notable collaborations with once again Paul Weller and new ones emerging soul artists Durand Jones and Laville, adding a fresh dynamic to their music. Another intriguing inclusion on the album was a spoken word meditation performed by the legendary actor Peter Capaldi, known for his role in Doctor Who.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Stone Foundation demonstrated their innovative spirit by pioneering the concept of online gigs. They organised their first online event in early April 2020, well ahead of the mainstream norm of livestreams becoming a thing at the time. This offered fans a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into their recording process and collaborations and also included appearances by yet again Paul Wellerbut additionally Mick Talbot, and Steve White which hadn’t been seen in a long time. This provided a much-needed lift during the challenging times of the pandemic, reminding us of the power of music to bring joy and unity in difficult circumstances.


Outside Looking In: Stone Foundation’s Soulful Evolution and Electrifying Live Performances


In 2022, Stone Foundation released their highly anticipated new album, “Outside Looking In,” which made its debut on March 25th under once again 100 Percent Records label. Continuing their successful collaboration, the album was once again recorded at Black Barn Studio, the headquarters of Paul Weller.

“Outside Looking In” features the distinctive sound of Stone Foundation, infused with their signature soulful vibes and heartfelt lyrics. The album also showcases the involvement of Paul Weller, who adds his backing vocals and instrumental contributions, further enhancing the musical experience.

The release of the new album was accompanied by an exciting series of tour dates, granting fans the opportunity to witness Stone Foundation’s electrifying live performances firsthand. The band’s captivating stage presence and dynamic energy combine to create an unforgettable experience for audiences, breathing life into their music with a powerful and engaging delivery.



Soulful Horizons: Stone Foundation’s Unwavering Journey into the Future


As Stone Foundation ventures further into the future, I look forward to their continued musical evolution and the possibility of even more innovative collaborations and projects. With their rich musical heritage, captivating live performances, and unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries, Stone Foundation consistently leave an indelible mark and lasting impression on the soulful territories of music.

As Stone Foundation celebrates their 25th anniversary, they show no signs of slowing down. They continue to captivate audiences with their energetic live performances and their ability to create music that resonates deeply. Their dedication to their craft, commitment to artistic exploration, and unwavering passion for soul music have firmly established them as a force to be reckoned with.

Throughout their 25 years, Stone Foundation has experienced significant growth and demonstrated unwavering perseverance and commitment. They have honed their unique blend of soul, funk, jazz, and multiple other genres, captivating listeners with infectious grooves and heartfelt performances. With each album and live show, Stone Foundation proves time and time again that they deserve recognition and admiration, solidifying their status as one of the finest and most influential acts to emerge from the roots of soul

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