Before I write a single word about the music on King of Hearts, I hafta say that that's one drop-dead beautiful Gibson Ed Stone plays. The instrument's worthy of a centerfold in one of the several mainstream axehandler mags devoted to such things on the store racks. Just gorgeous. And Stone does it justice, hitting the zone somewhere between Montgomery, Klugh, Szabo, and Gales. He maintains a cool, calm, smiling, positive, boppin', dancey attitude and milieu from the first note to the very last, making this definitely a summer CD.
The basic unit here is a quartet (guitar / keyboards / bass / drums) but the guitar's always up front with clever horn patches and very light synth orchestration floating in the mid- and background. Stone variously tosses in vocals (3 cuts), synth, and percussion, so I'm not certain if that disco-jazzy sweetening is his or Mark McGruder's, the mainline keyboardist, but I suspect Stone, as the arrangements (also all by him) indicate it, exactly in his style.
Favorite cut? Moving On, not the Hank Snow number but Stone's own, a light floating Benson-esque ditty circa Breezin', but I have to say there's also stardust and a light mysticism shot through the entire disc, kinda like Lonnie Liston Smith in his prime, scintillating atmospheres adding to the glow surrounding the sound field at all times. Stone's runs are fluid, cagily dynamic, and more convoluted than at first seems the case, so clear and pure is every note. Outside the music sphere, Ed is a medical doctor, thus it's obvious he's always got that gig with the hands going on. More, I've little doubt that more than one patient has stepped into his office, caught him practicing, then sat down, and listened. When asked by Stone "So what can I do for you today?", I'm sure the answer is always "Just keep playing. I feel better already".
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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