Out of The Box
Middle Mountain Music
This collaboration is sub-titled “A Cigar Box Guitar Project”. The two principals mix three, four and six string Cigar Box Guitars to achieve an unpredictable sound.
Ben Rice was a prominent member of the Blues community in the Pacific Northwest. In 2014 he won the Ashland, Oregon Blues Challenge and went on to compete in the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He made the finals in the solo/duo category and won the award for the best Cigar Box guitarist. Rice blends Delta-Blues, Rockabilly, Soul and Funk as his influences include Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Skip James and Muddy Waters. His third album “Wish The World Away” resulted him winning a Blues Blast award and being nominated for three 2019 Blues Music Award nominations in the categories Acoustic Blues Album; Acoustic Blues Artist and Best Emerging Artist Album.
RB Stone has recorded eighteen albums. He’s been called a country bluesman, an Americana artist and a roots rocker; his last several albums, 2011’s “Lonesome Traveler’s Blues”; 2013’s “Loosen Up!” and 2016’s “Some Call It Freedom (some call it the blues), receiving critical acclaim. The eleven originals are written by Rice and/or Stone. The band on the recording includes Rice, guitar and vocals; Stone, guitar, harmonica and vocals; and the rhythm section of Joseph Barton, bass; and Dave Melyan, drums. The album was recorded and mixed by the BMA winning drummer Jimi Bott who has been nominated in that category each year from 2002 thru 2019; Bott is the former drummer with The Fabulous Thunderbirds who now currently sits in the drum chair with The Proven Ones.
Rice and Stone share the vocal on the opener “Hot Rod Mama” featuring them on twin six-string washboard guitars. Rice also sings on the Skip James sounding “Easy Rollin’ Down The Road”; and on the rockin’ “Hey Politician” written by Stone with Guy Hale, co-owner of Gulf Coast Records.
Stone takes the vocal and plays harmonica on “Hoodoo Workin’ Overtime” with Rice still on the six string washboard guitar. Stone also sings on “The Swamp East Boogie” where he plays a Swampeast CBG; “Jesus Needs a Gig” with Rice on a four string, and on the hill country styled “Bad Blood On Mean Whiskey”. The closer is the instrumental “Lobo Jam” with Stone on a Lobo CBG with a 68-gauge Bass string.
Rice and Stone have broadened the normally primal sound of the Cigar Box Guitar into something unpredictably different and exciting. They especially thank the manufacturers of these CBG’s: Cliff Rice; Michael Cobb and Capt’n Ron Amett. This is a one of a kind recording.