The New Stew is a band of talented musicians from all walks of life who are banding together to pay tribute to a specific historic musical event "Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall". This classic 1972 concert will be re-lived with a series of shows by The New Stew. The group consists of: Corey Glover (Living Colour, Galactic) on vocals, Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys) on Lap Steel/ Pedal Steel, Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood) on percussion, Dave Yoke (Susan Tedeschi Band, Dr. John, Scrapomatic) on guitar, Jared Stone (Stone’s Stew) on drums, and Matt Slocum (Oteil and the Peacemakers, Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Lee Boys) on piano. I corresponded with drummer Jared Stone about the project.
R.V.B. - Congratulations on your upcoming tour showcasing Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall. You have a rather large group of talented musicians... what went into the process of gathering everyone involved for this?
J.S. - Thank you. Yes this was a fairly lengthy process. I started kicking around the idea back in late Summer of last year (2015) with a few fellow musicians, Roosevelt being the first. We then started collaborating with different people on the idea. I think it was Rico next. He and I have long lasting ties. He was my best man in my wedding and many other things to me. The group went through a metamorphosis of 2-3 stages with different people in, then out, then in again until we settled on this final group just before Christmas… It was pretty crazy for a minute dealing with everyone’s individual schedule’s. Then the agents get involved, usually that messes everything up! We came out strong though!
R.V.B - How did you guys decided to pay this tribute to Bill?
J.S. - That was a personal decision of mine. I have always been a fan, always. But really I hit a low point back in 1999 or so and this record was given to me along with a Sly and the Family Stone record by Derek Trucks. For some reason it really stuck with me and had become something I felt I needed to honor. When I brought this to the table, not one of the band members balked. Everyone was on board from the jump. It’s a great, great record. One word of advice: Don’t piece meal it when listening to it. Listen to it from beginning to end in one sitting. You might cry!
R.V.B. - I gather showcasing the Carnegie show will allow a lot of space for artists to solo and add their own voice into the program?
J.S. - I think so, we are missing a few pieces of the recording such as the string section, but I think that is where Roosevelt and his instrument will really come into play. We will stay as true to the recording as possible while adding each member’s individual voice. I’m excited to see what happens on the stage. That’s the glory of it all. You just don’t know!
J.S. - Well I first started playing the drum set in a single wide trailer and with my father in a band called Island Breeze. My folks owned a campground on the Chesapeake Bay. My father and I, along with a few of the regular campers would get to together on Saturday nights in the pavilion and play old Country and Western songs. Hank, Merle (God bless his soul),Willie, Conway Twitty, you know the usual suspects. I then started playing in different garage bands around town until I landed a gig in the house band at Donk’s Theater in Mathews Va. We got to back up some great Nashville artists at the time like Cissie Lynne (Loretta’s daughter) Joe Diffie and Doug Stone. After that I quit playing for a bit while serving in the Marine Corps then jumped back in the hot seat when I went to college to work on my jazz performance degree. Since then I have played in and out of Jazz, Folk and Rock bands with a variety of musicians. My own band Stone’s Stew recorded several albums that never really did anything. It was Jazz after all!
R.V.B. - You all come from diverse backgrounds... from Americana to heavy rock... was it easy to channel this into the music of the soul feel of Bill's music?
J.S. - I believe diversity is the key to a great band. In this case we all learn something new from each other and we all learn how to respect each others unique make up. All of us have a different story to tell in the same language. It certainly is not easy, nothing worth any value comes easy..
J.S. - I have worked with many different artists and events. A short list would be the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Martina McBride, Ladysmith Black Mambazzo, The Lockn’ Festival, Field of Dreams Fest., Gov’t Mule, its too long to continue…….
R.V.B. - What kind of merchandise did you help minors purchase driving around? Toys, sporting equipment, clothes, science projects???
J.S. - It’s funny you picked up on that… Not too long after I got out of the Marine’s I was on the road with Derek Trucks. He was a teenager at the time. My pay was based on a percentage of the group’s merchandise sales. Cd’s, shirts, hat’s etc. Those were some great, great days…….
R.V.B. - Are you guys planning to do more projects in the future or one step at a time?
J.S. - One step at a time really. I suppose if a promoter wants to have this specific group then we can do this again. And perhaps a Fall run in the mid-west / west coast might happen. But at its core this project is most meaningful because of its limited nature. The original idea is for The New Stew to continue as an ever evolving group of musicians that come together periodically to perform great recordings. Who knows what is next. Something will be……….I promise.
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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