Black Stone Cherry Brings Epic Night of
Southern Rock to The Stone Pony!
by Diane DiMemmo
May 1, 2019
The night was cool and rainy, but the camaraderie was warm the evening of May 1st at The Stone Pony, as we “Cherry Heads” readied ourselves for Black Stone Cherry’s return to Asbury Park. The last time I saw them perform live was at The Wonder Bar in 2017 and I knew from that past performance that this was going to be a night to remember. So, come inside the Stone Pony with me to see what went down on that epic night ...
Thomas Wynn & The Believers
Starting our night in a BIG way were southern soul rockers Thomas Wynn & The Believers from Orlando, Florida. Formed in 2009 by brother and sister Thomas (Lead Vocals, Guitar) and Olivia Wynn (Vocals, Tambourine), this group of six immensely talented musicians have been voted the #1 Rock and #1 Country/Folk band for seven consecutive years by Orlando Weekly. Rounding out the group’s lineup is Chris "Bell" Antemesaris (Harmonica), Dave Wagner (Bass), Ryan Miranda (Percussion), and Colin Fei (Keyboard).
The harmonies between Thomas and Olivia are thick and sweet, a perfect blend that must be a result of their years growing up together and playing music in their church. The vocals of both are strong enough to stand on their own, but when combined, produce a heavenly sound that really grabs you and pulls you in.
The band’s rock/soul/ R&B sound is one of perfect balance. Even with the variety of instrumentation (guitars, percussion, keyboards, dueling vocals), no one instrument or voice overpowers the other. The guitar chords and keyboard runs intertwine beautifully and are supported by a gentle bass and artful percussion techniques.
The group has three albums to their credit: Wade Waist Deep (2017), Brothers & Sisters (2012), and The Reason (2009) which can be found here on Spotify.
Thomas Wynn & The Believers is a band you must make a point to see. Check out their current tour dates and make sure to follow the band on Instagram to get the latest information on their whereabouts.
Thomas Wynn & The Believers Gallery
Thomas Wynn & The Believers
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
Watching a Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown live performance is like watching a musical firestorm. This self-dubbed “loud and proud” group from Nashville brought down the house with their white-hot vocals, wild guitar jams, and kick-ass percussion. Formed in 2009, this amazing rock and roll group is comprised of Tyler Bryant (Vocals, Guitar), Caleb Crosby (Percussion), Graham Whitford (Guitar), and Noah Denney (Bass).
I was captivated by their domination of the stage. Their energy was contagious and the fans became revved up and involved in their show almost immediately. It's a challenge for drummers to be in the mix of things during a live show, however Crosby regularly brought a drum with him to the edge of the stage and inserted himself in the crowd. The crowd ate it up!
The last time the group was supposed to play at the Stone Pony, their van broke down and only Tyler made it to NJ to play a solo acoustic show. Tyler mentioned how happy they were to all be here this time. He said, “It’s so special to finally all be playing the legendary Stone Pony. When you think of all of the musicians that have played here … it’s hallowed ground. The hallowed ground of rock and roll.”
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have created three outstanding albums: Wild Child (2013), The Wayside (2015), and Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown (2017). Each one is filled with tunes that push the envelope with creativity and variety, yet all have their unique rock, soul, and blues stamp on it.
The band capped off their set with their amazing new single, “On To The Next” which really blew the roof off and cranked up concert-goers even more! Tyler said, “It would really mean the world to us if you went home and downloaded it, spin it, whatever you do to listen to music.”
Although I don't typically download music as soon as I get home from a concert after midnight ... that’s exactly what I did with Tyler Bryant's music. Just listen to "Ramblin' Bones," "The Wayside," "Devil's Keep," or watch the video below of "On To The Next." I guarantee you'll want to download their music too, and see one of their shows really soon.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Gallery
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
Black Stone Cherry
If you were to look up the definition of “rock and roll” in the dictionary, Black Stone Cherry should be listed as the very first example, in my opinion. They are the epitome of everything rock bands today should try to be. They’ve been together as a group for eighteen years and have always had the same four band members. They’ve created six studio albums, three extended plays, and two live albums; always re-inventing themselves and always creating fresh, new music. They have a huge, dedicated fanbase. They’ve toured with countless other artists, are very well-respected by their peers, and are one of the hardest working bands you’ll ever see.
Formed in 2001 in Edmonton, Kentucky, Black Stone Cherry is Chris Robertson (lead vocals, lead guitar), Ben Wells (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals). They are all insanely talented on their instruments but it’s also worth noting that they each contribute vocally, giving their music many layers.
The energy during a BSC show is unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else. These guys absolutely love what they do. Wells and Lawhon covered the whole stage, criss-crossing back and forth the entire show while playing the lightning speed guitar runs and bass lines that are characteristic of their southern hard rock sound.
Robertson’s voice is always spot on. His tone is natural and rich, and his soulful phrasing/singing really resonates with you. He never fails to move the audience with his uncompromising vocals.
John Fred Young was an absolute beast on the drums. He plays at a blistering speed, tosses and catches his sticks, and sings harmony … all without ever missing a beat. Fans were raving about his skills as they were exiting the venue that night.
The night’s setlist was a great selection of songs from all of their albums, but the crowd did go especially crazy for “Blame It on the Boom Boom,” “White Trash Millionaire,” and “Me and Mary Jane.”
My personal favorite has always been “Lonely Train” and I think it’s because it really shows off the group’s overall musicality. The song is very fast and has a lot of sudden stops and starts, yet the guys are always completely in sync with each other. It must be a tough song to perform live, but they played it perfectly. Check out the official video of “Lonely Train” from 2009 to see what I mean.
Black Stone Cherry has this knack for making every show they play feel like the best show they’ve ever done. And that is why we Cherry Heads keep coming back for more. Let’s hope the guys come visit Asbury Park again real soon!
Make sure to see the guys at one of these upcoming shows and follow them on Instagram for "behind-the-scenes" sneak peaks!!
Burnin’/Mary Jane/Blind Man/In my Blood/Bad Habit/Cheaper to Feel Alright/Like I Roll/Hollywood/My Last Breath/Nobodaaaay/Devil’s Queen/Soul Creek/Blame It on the Boom Boom/White Trash Millionaire/Lonely Train/Family Tree
Black Stone Cherry Gallery
Black Stone Cherry