Hear Stoney live in Nashville at 3rd And Lindsley on Saturday, September 28, along with Whitey Johnson and George Shingleton.
Over a nearly 20-year career, the Lone Star-born and Oklahoma-raised Stoney LaRue has transformed himself into an unlikely Renaissance man. He is a deft songwriter, informed traveler and self-aware philosopher, a troubadour who converses just as easily about Indian yogis and gurus as he does about Texas barbecue and dance halls. LaRue highlights all facets of his complex persona on the inspiring new album Onward.
Can you share your fondest family musical memories growing up?
Watching my grandparents dance to old Merle Haggard records.
What lead you to choose music as your career path?
I used to stare out of my window at night and wish on the stars that I would be a singer songwriter. I was 10.
How influenced were you by your grandparents’ love of Merle Haggard?
I loved his music as much as they did. They had tons of old records. I’m sure it rubbed off somewhere.
How does being independent versus signed to a label impact the songs an artist writes and records?
I’ve never had a record deal so I don’t know how it would affect my writing. I could say, it would add a pressure to please the label I’m sure, but there’s a pressure to be great “hopefully” with anyone that takes what they do seriously.
Recording songs live versus in a studio, how difficult is it to bring the energy of a concert into a studio?
Recording is totally different than live shows. We go and entertain folks live and that’s quite fulfilling. In studio is laid out and planned song by song and moment by moment. Try to keep it real and present but the head game is strong in studio.
What is the back story to “Oklahoma Break Down”?
How did your Velvet album impact your career?
Velvet seemingly gave me some legitimacy as a serious writer. The whole production was thanks to Van Fletcher and Frank Liddell. What an experience. Studio A
What are your favorite cover songs to play live?
Cover songs live… full band I like a lot of JJ Cale or Grateful Dead. Acoustic, old country.
How would you describe your sound to a new fan?
Today I would describe our sound as Americana roots with an ethereal overtone.
How do your songs follow your life journeys?
The songs I write are directly influenced by the world around me and everything in it. From smells to pictures to sounds and the like.
What motto do you live your life by?
Live your life. No one gets out alive.
What can fans expect to hear on your upcoming Onward album?
The new album is geared by literal lyrics and country application. Old school one might say.
Did producer Gary Nicholson add any blues sounds to the album?
Gary added his “thang” to the album. Hard to describe really. Blues was evident, yes.
I’m now getting back to being happy,” LaRue cites. “I’ve been writing a lot and figuring out what direction I am going in. That’s why this album is called ‘Onward.’ It’s a more mature album written about myself, humanity and the truth. The writing of it turned out to be medicine that didn’t have to be prescribed.
What’s ahead in 2020?
In 2020 I plan to tour and write and record. Perhaps look at some land to build on.
What can fans expect on the Rock the Coast Texas Country at Sea cruise?
Rock the Coast will be laid back and a blast. Great food, great hangs, and fantastic company. :)
What question do you wish you’d be asked in an interview?
How are you? Would you like more steak or wine? Lol
When you aren’t writing or performing, what do you like to do?
I enjoy teaching myself piano. Being with my kiddos. Peace and relaxing.