Stone Anderson tribute concert postponed

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The image of him on the electronic notice board of the Von Braun Center belongs there. Stone Anderson had the kind of musical talent meant for big venues like the VBC. He had a real chance to reach that level.

So it’s beyond the bittersweet that is happening as it is now. Anderson, bassist for best local rock band Rob Aldridge & The Proponents, died on April 9 at the age of 27 of an accidental drug overdose.

Four months later, the Huntsville music scene remains shaken by its loss. A commemorative celebration was scheduled to take place for Anderson on Saturday at VBC’s Mars Music Hall at 700 Monroe St.

But with the increase in COVID cases in Alabama and concerns about the Delta variant, Stone’s father, musician Dave Anderson, made the difficult decision Wednesday afternoon to press the tribute break.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the postponement of the Stone Memorial,” wrote Dave Anderson on his Facebook page. “The cases of COVID here are plentiful and strike too close for comfort. including those among the vaccinated, and the people we know. Mars Music Hall is working closely with us to reschedule as soon as we think it’s safe. They were so great throughout this decision making and event planning process. I am really sorry. This decision was extremely difficult to make. Thank you all for your support. “

Check with facebook.com/stoneandersonmusic to reschedule updates. When the tribute is rescheduled, local bands performing include melodic rockers Toy Shop, led by talented British brothers Antony and Andrew Sharpe, and high-voltage combo The Nerve, led by James Irvin, known for his percussion with Microwave Dave & Nuclear Weapons.

The lineup is also expected to include three bands that Anderson played bass with. Ambient indie rockers Silver Fern was a passion project for him, while Straight To Video is directed by Dave Anderson, known for his acting with Brother Cane / Atlanta Rhythm Section as well as his solo work. The promoters, a Tom Petty-meets-Wilco ensemble, will close the show.

The Von Braun Center billboard promoting an upcoming tribute concert to the late great Huntsville musician Stone Anderson. (Courtesy of Michelle Hilbert)

Michelle Hilbert, a close friend of the Andersons, worked with Dave to organize the tribute. “It will definitely be an evening of Stone music and celebration,” says Hilbert. “When Rob did his first gig (a Proponents gig on June 18th at Stovehouse), it was the first big outing we had. But I think it’s going to be a good night for all of us to come together, honor her and really start our shutdown. I hope after that we can all learn to live our lives remembering his life, not just his death.

A presentation of photos, videos and audio footage of Stone will be interspersed throughout the tribute, to which participation will be free. There will also be a few surprises, including musical appearances and a video message from one of the biggest bands to come out of northern Alabama in recent years, talking about Stone. Hilbert, who runs a local printing press by trade and is one of the former operators of the now defunct alt-weekly Valley Planet, will believe a eulogy.

Pierre Anderson

Huntsville musician Stone Anderson. (Courtesy of Joshua Black Wilkins)

In addition to being good at music, Stone was witty, intelligent and charismatic. So much so that his passing even affected people who barely knew him, only hung out with him a few times, or never went to any of his concerts. This is in part due to the deep respect the community has for Dave. But it’s also because Stone was so magnetic and special. He was one of my dearest friends and probably the coolest guy I have ever met. Some of his electric creative mind will always be with me. A person like that, grief never really ends. But, as Aldridge advised me some time ago, we also have to go on and make Stone proud.

Stone was like family to Hilbert. She had known him since he was little. The first time she met him was on a road trip to Birmingham with Dave. Stone and his brother Gage Anderson were in the backseat playing “truck,” a travel game of searching for trailers, vans and muscle cars through busy landscapes to avoid getting bored on the journey. . “I was sitting between them,” says Hilbert, and they were hilarious the whole way.

Later, after Stone grew into a mature, active musician, some of Hilbert’s favorite places to watch him play music at the downtown bar, Voodoo Lounge. “I loved the energy the promoters had there,” says Hilbert. It was also a pleasure for her to see The Props perform at bigger concerts like Basement East in Nashville and Jason Isbell’s ShoalsFest in Florence. “He was so excited to play ShoalsFest,” recalls Hilbert. After Anderson’s death, supporters brought in Matt Ross from The Nerves on bass. The group also added keyboardist Clint Bailey to the lineup.

This week, Irvin released a new track he wrote about Anderson, titled “You’re Not Alone”. The track juxtaposes Irvin’s personal lyrics and heartfelt grater with chirping guitars and a melancholy arrangement. The chorus first came to Irvin, a member of Stone in Straight To Video and Dave Anderson Project, the afternoon he learned of his friend’s death. The next day, Irvin was still in shock as he drove to a concert in Memphis. He wrote more of the song in his head during the ride. The lyrics were inspired by his latest hit with Stone, during one of Irvin’s solo concerts. Or really any of their encounters, Irvin said.

“Stone comes along,” Irvin says, “and all of a sudden your mood improves. Dating him was like we were 12 and laughed until it hurt. Whenever we were together. The last words Anderson ever said to him were “Play, New Radicals”, referring to the band known for the 1998 hit “You Get What You Give”.

In addition to his drums with various bands, Irvin released three solo albums with him playing all instruments, Paul McCartney or Prince. He also does this on “You’re Not Alone”, with the exception of a shimmering piano solo by Aaron Wilson of The Nerve. Naturally, cutting the vocal track of “You’re Not Really Gone” has been difficult for Irvin at times. But in the end, he delivered a moving performance.

One of the lyrics to “You’re Not Alone”, recorded by Jeremy Stephens at Clearwave Studios at Decatur, is “this line is so cliché”, as Irvin can imagine Stone telling him that about the previous lyrics, which Irvin laughingly admits is “almost cheesy. In fact, the phrase in question -” When I close my eyes, I see you every night, standing next to me forever on the right of the stage “- is gorgeous.

When asked what it was like to be in a rhythm section with Anderson, Irvin replied, “He knew what I was going to do before he did it, and vice versa. You log in so easily that you don’t even think about it. It’s right there. He was an incredible musician and he had such an incredible impact over those 27 years. I’m so lucky to have known him while he was here, and my brain is full of memories with him. Nothing can take it away. “

And we haven’t heard the latest from Stone Anderson yet. Plans call for the release of the Proponents’ second album, “Mind Over Manners”, in early 2022. Some of the 12 songs include the title track, “Beatlesque Nowhere”, “Poor Taste” and “Devil On Sunday” . Anderson’s basslines are clever, nuanced, and moving. The music is eternal and Stone Anderson was the music.

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