John Stone, who recently released his second album entitled "Boy From Alabam", has been electrifying crowds in Nashville and throughout the country since his arrival in Music City in 2003.
A native of Dogtown, Alabama, Stone is a proficient, self-taught musician who has introduced his talents as a mainstay-recording artist.
Stone, who is named after his grandfather, grew up in a modest home environment surrounded by folks he describes as “just good people.”
“My mom and dad live ‘country’ style," Stone said with his trademark smile. "They raise chickens and dogs. Mama cans foods and makes homemade bread. They live a simple life and that’s how I grew up, simply.”
Stone will admit he had a poor childhood, but one rich in honesty and love and surrounded by music.
“Music filled our home, " Stone says. "From time-to-time, my dad and mom would sing at family barbeques and at impromptu jam sessions. They called themselves ‘Stoney & the Pebbles'. My parents are honest and hardworking. My mom has sensitivity and compassion, while my dad is full of pride. Combine all of that and that’s exactly who I am.”
Stone picked up the guitar when he was six and as time progressed, he became enamored with a variety of instruments. He learned to play the bass, drums, harmonica and piano. It was then he directed his goals toward becoming a singer/songwriter in Nashville. However, his “life” took him down a different path. God had a different plan for John Stone.
Stone’s musical ambitions met with detour after detour.
At age 17, Stone enlisted in the Delay Entry Program of the United States Army. As soon as he graduated from high school, he went straight to boot camp. Just four days out of boot camp, Stone was asked to serve his country.
His tour of duty led him to Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he served eight years as a Gunner on an M-1 Tank. Through his service, he earned the label “top gun.”
Stone married at age 24, and he was honorably discharged at age 25. During his service, he and his wife had a son.
“I never thought I would spend eight years of my life in the service," Stone says. "It’s just the way it went. My time in the service enabled me to become a stronger individual and, believe it or not, it actually prepared me for the music business.
“When you enter the military, it’s their job to break you down and then build you back up again; reshaping you both physically and mentally,” Stone adds. “Much like the music business, I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. So today, every negative strengthens my resolve to get through. If you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll show you 10 different ways I can.”
Despite life’s deviations, it is the very upbringing and his tenure in the service which has given Stone the tenacity to become the man and the artist he is today.
Since his arrival in Nashville in 2003, Stone admits he has become more knowledgeable about the music business.
“When I moved to Nashville, I was filled with all kinds of fantasies and delusions. The last few years have been an education. I have become realistic and more than ever, I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses as an artist and what I need to do to realize my dreams.”
Stone has in fact championed the hurdles before him to become a seasoned performer. He is a singer/songwriter, who in keeping with his heritage, can be described as hardworking, dedicated and honest.
Stone is honest with himself and with his audience.
“If someone asks me, I will never say I’m a great singer," Stone admits. "But if you listen to traditional country music, it is not about polished vocals. Renowned country legends like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson are storytellers and their delivery is honest. I don’t want to be just a singer. I don’t want to be just a songwriter. I don’t want to pretend to be something that I’m not. My concentration is to be a complete package.
“Music is everything I do. I listen to the radio all of the time. I have tons of instruments at home -- 10 acoustic guitars, seven electric guitars, a bass, a fiddle and a keyboard. I like to go see live shows and I am a student at every performance I attend, whether it be a seasoned professional or an amateur. Life without music would make for an unfulfilling life.”
It appears country radio and its listeners are convinced.
Stone has proven himself as a world-class songwriter with the success of his first self-penned single “Shame On Me.” He has visited hundreds of radio stations across the nation and has toured with and opened for some of today’s hottest country acts (Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Craig Morgan and Gretchen Wilson). His musical resume also includes live television performances, including appearances on The Today Show with Katie Couric and as part of Tim McGraw's NFL Halftime highlights segment taped for Monday Night Football.
The first few years of Stone’s recording career have led him to the place where he dreamed to be and he is observably thankful.
“I am humbled and I appreciate every time I take the stage and for every ‘good’ thing that happens to me," Stone says. "The ‘good’ things such as -- hearing my songs on the radio, being invited to the White House to play for President George W. Bush, performing on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium. The list continues to grow each day.”
Stone's concentration is to be the best that he can be -- as a man, as a father, as a son, as a friend and as an artist. He’s completed the first phase to make it to stardom and is moving on to the next stage.
“I am really happy with how far we’ve come. I’m pleased there are folks out there that seem to like what I do and I hope I that I can continue.”
In 2010 and with the delivery of his sophomore effort "Boy From Alabam", Stone hopes he can make an even greater impact to secure his place as a mainstay artist.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be a huge superstar, but I do know that I just want the chance to put my music out there. Music that touches people and evokes emotion -- reminiscent, happy or sad. I just want the opportunity to get my music to the listeners to let them decide my destiny. It will be the fans that make the decision about my music and my career, not the industry.”