( Photos and review by Jeffrey Moellering)
Stonegrey is a Tampa Bay area four-piece hard rock band which is a bit of an anomaly. In the current musical era filled with electronic sampling, autotune, pre-packaged, and programmed sounds, this rollicking rock quartet delivers no frills jams like you listened to from your dad’s vinyl collection, with the driving riffs of Zeppelin and Pearl Jam, enough panache for re-imagined Pink Floyd takes, and an impressive bag of original tunes that is a melding of classic heavy rock styles. The Stonegrey guys remind you of the high school friend who snuck their parents’ car out of the driveway and went to the hippest party in town. They stole your girlfriend, but you didn’t care, because you think they’re cool anyway.
The band features the brotherly duo of Tristan and Tyler Dusek on lead guitar and drums respectively, who play off each other very well, having obviously spent many hours together honing their approach. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Eric Whitener is a very capable and charismatic frontman with impressive pipes and solid guitar skills, while allowing other band members to provide complementary counterpoint. Bassist Dalton South provides a steady bopping backdrop, with a nice full and round sound, able to punch along and drive the Stonegrey locomotive.
Stonegrey is rightfully receiving accolades from throughout Tampa Bay and beyond, as one of the finest emerging rock bands on the scene, having won the “Hard Rock Rising Tampa” competition in 2018, which earned them a spot at the 97x Next Big Thing event, at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
Recent conditions have of course been challenging for musicians the past few months due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. After weeks of being pent up during the quarantine, Stonegrey had the opportunity to step into the state of the art ESI Audio & Lighting facility in Tampa to show their fans some live streaming love, as part of the ongoing “Keep Music Alive Series” being hosted there.( The series was produced by ESI. Espo Productions and ProGo Music Group)
Faithful and new fans alike tuned into the event, which found the band in fine form, full of uncoiled energy, eager to get back to what they do best – performing in front of a live audience, feeding off the crowd’s energy. And while the crowd was only virtual that evening, they could see the live comments from those tuned in and were gratefully inspired by them. During this time of “trying to be together while staying apart”, the streaming show provided a perfect opportunity to live that mantra. So much so, that after Stonegrey finished their set, everyone was so electrified that they continued with several encore songs, which were a real treat. But don’t take my word for it; if you missed it you’re still in luck! The full event is posted on Facebook under “Stonegrey Live Stream Concert from ESI”, so be sure to take a look and listen, as the high def audio and full concert lighting really grabs you, really enhancing the band’s already supercharged performance.
Just when you begin to think those people who say “rock & roll is dead” may have a point, a band like Stonegrey comes along and reminds you of why you broke all the rules as a teenager and were convinced that with your favorite band, you knew you could change the world. They’re out to prove that the dream is indeed still within our grasp, crystallizing that moment when the music and the magic are forged into the crucible of creation. Be sure to experience them at your favorite music portal and very soon, a live venue near you!