June 12, 2008
By David Huff
Stoney Larue - Country Fever 2008 - Jun. 12-15
Hard Working Stoney LaRue
At age 3, Stoney LaRue could be found belting out “Swinging” by John Anderson on his Mr. Microphone radio. The son of a struggling bass player and a nurse, LaRue understood the allure of music at an early age, and recorded his first works at age twelve. He earned accolades through school for his unmatched vocal abilities and promising instrumental talents. Many subscribe Stoney LaRue to the category of artists that are simply natural born performers, just don’t try to limit him by category.
Born in Taft, Texas, LaRue actually spent the majority of his adolescence north of the Red River, where he was raised in Southeastern Oklahoma. He never really pictured himself doing anything else but making good music, so LaRue eventually made his way to the state’s Red Dirt hotbed of Stillwater, where he began to develop his individualized style from a widespread range of influences.
From Willie Nelson to Ray Charles, to The Grateful Dead and Kris Kristofferson, LaRue’s emerging style impressively blends varied elements of country, blues, and soulful rock into cohesive, vocal driven performances. His abilities earned the immediate respect of then “up and coming” peers including Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Jason Boland, and other cohorts of the revitalizing Texas and Red Dirt circuits (now electrifying audiences nationwide.)
In 2002, both fans and industry took good notice of LaRue after he spearheaded The Organic Boogie Band and released Downtown, which was recorded in private sessions at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa and mixed in a trailer on the side of a cliff in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It was just the beginning, as the debut cemented LaRue’s following and inspired a move to New Braunfels, Texas, where a vibrant music community and a persistent touring schedule spawned a vast response for his music.
Fans anxiously awaited the August 2005 release of Stoney LaRue – The Red Dirt Album, which hit the Billboard sales charts in its debut week. A far cry from the mixing trailer on the cliff, The Red Dirt Album was recorded with a tight circle of players and professionals in a studio setting. The record was a pinnacle effort for LaRue and has inarguably established his triple threat status as a truly gifted vocalist, player and performer.
In October 2006, the musician released Stoney LaRue: Live at Billy Bob’s. The album contained the hit single, “Oklahoma Breakdown”. The song topped the Texas charts for several weeks and ignited support for LaRue throughout the state.
Armed with golden ear musicianship, an amusing wit, and soulful magnetism, LaRue’s shows are infused with an uplifting quality, a cathartic barroom brand of spirituality, where venues are complimented for good bar “feng shui,” and where time and dimension can be traversed via emotive lyrics and melodic riffs. A charismatic performer, LaRue’s flawless vocals can draw a crowd to an open mouth level of sonic hypnosis, and next have them singing “Forever Young” so loudly that you can’t hear anything else.
At 30 years old, Stoney LaRue now performs close to 300 dates a year at top festivals and venues across the world, including the Caribbean and Europe, sharing bills with renowned acts like Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell and others. With a band that includes Jeremy Bryant (drums), Jesse Fritz (bass), Kevin Webb (guitar), Jeremy Watkins (fiddle) and Steve Littleton (keys), Stoney is poised for what is on the horizon to come.
-Record Label: RedDirt