Welcome to another new edition of For The Record. In this edition, we focus on Stone Stanley’s “The Mudstomp Tapes.” For those not up on their indie artists, Stone Stanley is the Hesperia, California-based musical project of singer/songwriter-musician Jason Robert.

On this album, Robert, listed on as Jason Trombley, leads the way on guitar, drums, percussion, and vocals. He is backed by Scott Longnecker (bass), Ralph Gilbert (guitar), and Dan Stevens (drums/percussion). Although not appearing on this recording, drummer Carlos Rojas and Pat Lucca (blues harp) have also performed with the band.

Stone Stanley’s music

The band’s current signature sound is a definite departure from the reggae-like “soulfolk” sound of their titular 2011 premiere platter. It’s an eclectic mix of music genres including Americana, delta blues, country, folk, rock, and roots music. The band calls it “Mojave Mudstomp” or “mudstomp” music. The "mudstomp" sound is very much a product of his Robert’s solo work. It’s a high desert-based “high and lonesome” sound with an emphasis on a simple backbeat. It’s the audio equivalent of happily stomping around in the desert mud during a heavy “midsummer rain on a Saturday night” says Robert. He wrote all but one song on the CD. His influences include Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, and Curtis Mayfield.

Track by track

This 12-track album of tuneful tales and emotional audio offerings begins with “Bitter End.” The song immediately gives one a feel for where Stone Stanley is coming from now. It’s followed by “Drop It” which is somehow both sarcastic and sincere and sounds as if Robert enjoyed recording it.

The bluesy, down-and-dirty “So Glad” focuses on the freedom that follows a failed relationship.

Like other tracks, it has a real no-nonsense feel to it. Next is “Beast Inside” which is a slow-driving, sad song about anger, regret, and human frailty.

“Cobble Hill” seems to take a slightly different direction yet remains true to the act’s overall signature sound. “Iroquois Chant” follows. Whether it is more “We Three Kings” or actual Iroquois is the question and yet it remains an effective aural palate cleanser prepping listeners for the second half of the disc.

“Be With Me” is an early favorite of both fans and critics. It’s a rough and ready cut about love that undoubtedly works well with a live audience. Things slow down a bit on “Unfaithful Woman.” This is a sad, soulful instrumental that works well with the previous piece.

It’s back to business as Robert sings his “Freedom Chant.” “My Shame” is also included and offers up another honest, personal piece. “Soulshine,” an adaptation of a Warren Haynes tune, works surprisingly well here and features guest musician Jim McComas on guitar.

“Bottled” is a quiet closing cut that once more reminds the listener of what Stone Stanley’s capabilities. It comes complete with an intimate, entertaining laundry list of personal pop culture references.

Stone Stanley live

If you wish to see this act live, Stone Stanley will be celebrating the release of their new music video, “Bitter End,” at the Hilltop Tavern & Inn in Apple Valley, California, on Friday, June 15, at 8:00 PM. Admission is free but you must be 21 or over. Stone Stanley will also be performing at the Long Beach New Blues Festival on Labor Day weekend and the 6th Annual Woodystock Festival in October.

For the record

For the record, Stone Stanley’s “The Mudstomp Tapes” album is a musical melange of sometimes raw, emotional, honest, simple yet interesting song-stories and audio analogies. They are unique in their execution yet often times universal in their emotive content. So check out Stone Stanley’s “The Mudstomp Tapes.” You just might be “So Glad” that you did.