Deriving their influences from jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, pop and R&B, No Stone has evolved their sound into something refreshingly unfamiliar. This 7 piece funk band fuses the sounds of all things groovable to create a new meaningful sound that keeps people coming back for more. Fronted by a lady of soul and backed by a dynamic sax duo and a 4 piece rhythm section who live in the pocket, No Stone knows how to lay it down. Throw in the occasionally featured hip hop duo "The Airplane Boys" and you have a show that will not likely be forgotten
No Stone has been on the block since 2002, but their first years as a band simply served as a warm up for what was a tremendous 2007 and 2008 for the band. No Stone has played in some of the hottest music spots in Toronto and often shared the stage with some of the most respected indie artists on the Toronto scene. Some highlights include:
- Performing in front of a sold out crowd at The Boogiedown Massacre at Revival with 2007 Toronto Independent Music Awards recipient of best live act KC Roberts and DJ Sean Sax
-Featuring at the Markham Jazz Festival and almost selling out their entire press of the No Stone Album
- A Sold out Wednesday night crowd at the Rivoli alongside Methodology and Emma Lee
- Breaking in Mississauga's premier live music venue "The Lost Lounge" with Word People and Juno rap recording of the year nominee Arabesque
-Headlining OXFAM's annual "Music 4 Change" fundraiser
-Warming up the crowd at Hard Rock Cafe's Club 279 for William the Conquerer's CD release party.
-The Sonicsoul Summer Party at Revival alongside Methodology
-A VERY successful CD release performance for a capacity crowd at the Annex Wreckroom
Not only does the band tightly function as a very well seasoned unit, but individually the band features some very respected and talented musicians in their own right. Individual band members have caught the attention of some of Canada's premier artists and are currently working with Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm's band "Low Level Flight", and Juno Award nominee for rap recording of 2007 "Arabesque"
With the band tight (but getting even tighter), the masses big (but getting even bigger), and the parties heavy (but getting even heavier), the No Stone movement is well on its way. Adding a headlining spot at the prestigious Revival Bar for Toronto's Canadian music week and another round at the Markham Jazz festival, the band is excited for an even bigger 2009
Kirsten Rea- Lead Vocals
Mike Nadal- Alto Saxophone
Gareth Lewis- Tenor Saxophone
Aaron McWilliams- Bass
Brandon Merenick- Drums
Marylou David- Backup Vocals (occasional)
Mannie Gobstoppa- Emcee (occasional)
J Threat- Emcee (occasional)
2007 debut album- "No Stone"
Boogie Down With Humber
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Humber talent will be the highlight of tomorrow’s Boogie Down Massacre, a Halloween bash planned dow...Humber talent will be the highlight of tomorrow’s Boogie Down Massacre, a Halloween bash planned downtown at Revival.
KC Roberts and the Live Revolution, the winner of the Toronto Independent Music Award for Best Live Act of 2007, will headline the event. Also performing is No Stone and DJ Sean Sax.
The Live Revolution formed earlier this year. “Even though we’re considered funk, there’s also jungle, hip hop, house and rock in there too,” Roberts said. “Right now, we’re just a tossed salad.”
The band has opened for the Black Eyed Peas, performed at the Beaches Jazz Festival, and played for 20,000 people at the Marijuana March.
Roberts is now working on mixing his album Parkdale Funk, to be released in February.
Roberts has played with other bands in the past but is happy with Live Revolution. “I couldn’t have a better band. We have a top horn section, the rhythm section is deadly and the keyboards are scientists. It’s raw music with a lot of intelligence behind it.”
Opening act No Stone saxophonist Mike Nadal attended Humber for music but left in 2003 to pursue a music degree at York. Humber was still a valuable experience he said. “The ability to play with great musicians, gain that knowledge and just generally develop a great sound when we were there was great.”
Nadal and drummer Brandon Merenick formed No Stone in 2002. They came up with the idea to create an “urban fusing jazz” sound when in high school together.
In the past year, No Stone released its self-titled debut album, had a completely full press at the Markham Jazz Festival, a packed CD release party, had members play with Arabesque.
The event will feature a costume contest and will have a red carpet entrance, including fake paparazzi.
Roberts’s manager Peter Moscone said it’s going to be the most insane show the band has ever put on. “He’s playing tunes that he has written specifically for this show.”
No Stone is also sure to impress. “It’s going to be a really huge party,” Nadal said. “You get to see the best live performer in Toronto…and I think we do pretty well ourselves.”
The CanCon Problem
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My friends can tell you, I'm a huge supporter of local artists almost to a fault. There are songs on...My friends can tell you, I'm a huge supporter of local artists almost to a fault. There are songs on my iTunes player that admittedly would not even get a second listen if not for the fact that they are by Canadian (or even Toronto and Mississauga specifically) artists. Some of my favourite films are Canadian and I love dragging my girlfriend to watch some local theatre. ("Local theatre" is redundant, yes.)
Which is all happy and cozy, but now, as a journalist, I'm in the position where I frequently have to review this stuff. And I'm finding I grade CanCon on a different scale. My gut turns to knots when I'm about to a give a bad rating to a well-meaning and promising local artist. I've adopted this habit of giving harsher numerical ratings, but then writing nice things in the copy, or vice versa, just to even things out. I'm a Libra.
It's kind of a copout -- and the fact that I'm writing about this at all shows I have issues with this practice. I need to grow a bigger backbone (but I don't want to) or I need to get out of this field altogether and write real news stories.
That said, last Friday I went to go see two local bands play at Revival -- KC Roberts and openers No Stone (featuring Rawsteady). One of my old workmates is the band leader/saxophonist for No Stone, so I was just coming to support my boy. The show was incredible.
The energy coming off that stage was unbelievable, from the guest emcees Rawsteady working the two-step while rhyming, to lead vocalist Kirsten Rea getting her Jessica Rabbit on, I was blown away that so much local talent gets lost under the radar. I remembered why I wanted to support/report on the scene in the first place.
I'd post more about KC as well but he's been getting his share of shine lately. I will say though that he covered the Thundercats theme song and it was amazing. I don't mean amazing in an ironic hipster way, I mean it was amazing -- the vocal arrangements, the guitar solo, the horns.
The talent it out there, and it's not latent or rough or unpolished or whatever else. It's dope, and it's worth searching for.
No Stone: Out From Under a Rock
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"I had a chance to talk to the band leader/lead sax/writer/composer of No Stone, Mike Nadal. With t..."I had a chance to talk to the band leader/lead sax/writer/composer of No Stone, Mike Nadal. With twenty years of experience, ten years of that on the sax, it seems that Mike's main purpose in life is music. Together with his high school friend, Brandon Merenick, Mike strung together talent from Humber and york music programs, both of which he is an alumni of..."
"...'I want people to know there's a different approach to pop. My goal when I was writing for No Stone was to invent catchy melodies that they walk awayh from a show singing, but also I feel there is a level of musicianship. So, I'd like listeners to feel a real groove not just something that is generated by a machine or computers. Like a groove established by real live musicians.'
Released in July 2007, their self titled album does a great job of showcasing their talent and is incredibly fun to listen to. But the real fun happens at their high energy shows, which 2007 has been a great year for."
ALBUM TRACK LIST:
Missed My Chance
When You Love Me
Out of Reach
LIVE SHOW COVERS
Golden - Jill Scott
Forget Regret - RH Factor
Just the Two of Us - Bill Withers
Remind Me - Patrice Rushen
Sun and Moon- Ivana Santilli
Tell Me- Groove Theory
There are no upcoming dates at this time.