Picking Violets

Picking Violets

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandCountryPop

Picking Violets...where soulful harmonies meet a fresh, contemporary sound, while still holding tight to their country roots through heartfelt, story telling lyrics.

Biography

Erica Stone and Kelly Weston of new country/pop duo Picking Violets have been friends for nearly a decade, a bond that has yet to lead them astray. It has, though, led them to Nashville and subsequently Africa in pursuit of their dreams. The result of their dream-chasing is a harmonious collaboration that's breathing new life into a sometimes stagnant music scene.

The Picking Violets story is every bit as unique as their sound. Stone and Weston met by chance in 2001, one hailing from Southeast Missouri, the other from the southwest corner of the state. They foraged their friendship while singing in the church choir, but they knew instantly that they wanted to work together in an arena beyond the choir loft.

“Singing was always my dream,” says Stone. “I just didn't think I'd ever do anything with it.” Throughout high school, she was always enrolled in arts-oriented classes, but when she married her high school sweetheart at a young age and became a mom, “I just thought I'd be a housewife.” Her husband, who Stone calls her biggest supporter, knew she was meant to do more. “He always knew I had my own dreams, and he really pushed me to pursue them.”

Weston had a more organic introduction to music. “My whole family on my mom's side was musical,” she says. “Everyone sang and played instruments ... I grew up around it.” Her early influences of bluegrass and Southern gospel are the most evident when Weston sings. “I just love the harmony sounds, which is what I bring to the group.”

The duo's passion and solid foundation was there, and the seeds for success were blooming, but the outlet to help them thrive was nonexistent.

“We lived in a small town that provided nothing as far as music was concerned,” laughs Stone. “The church stage was about it.” The only foreseeable option, they agreed, was to pack up their lives and head to Music City, which they did, sight unseen. With nary a connection or any formal artist development, Stone and Weston ventured into Nashville's music scene with enthusiasm and determination, characteristics that attracted them to each other as friends in the beginning and have been the secret of their successes thus far.

“Moving to Nashville was a big step for both of us,” says Weston. “We learned what can happen when you take a chance on something.”

And learn they did, when they opened a children's home in Sierra Leone. When Stone traveled to the African nation in 2004 to bring home her daughter, she was moved by all that she saw. “We were holding and touching children who were starving to death. I came home reeling from all of that, and I shared a lot of it with Kelly,” says Stone. “We hoped that once our music took off that we could use our platform to improve the lives of others. Then it was like, why wait? The longer we wait, the longer those children suffer.” So they formed a foundation, The Raining Season, and began traveling to Sierra Leone and bringing teams of volunteers to help out with their mission. Stone and Weston have also rallied a number of their fellow songwriters from the Row to raise funds and awareness for their cause, which actually helps fuel their music. “Ironically, the dual industry thing – the children's home and the music business — work well together,” says Weston. “ We experience life in a way that a lot of people don't get to, and then we can take those experiences, and they become music and they become songs,” explains Stone.

Their voyage has no doubt been thrilling, and their eagerness to use their voices and the stage to change the world is proving beneficial for the girls and their foundation. Bringing it back to the music, though ... the choir loft where these two friends from small-town Missouri first met ... it's been quite a ride, and it's one that continues. They've grown exponentially, and it's all about — and because of — evolving and taking risks.

“By taking chances, you become a better, stronger person,” says Stone. “I would never have thought that we would be here.”

“It's a complicated road,” agrees Weston, “but those are the only ones worth taking.”

Picking Violets is nearing completion on their first studio album. “Musically where we're headed is very progressive. It's where country meets Snow Patrol or One Republic,” says Stone, referring to the melodic musical patterns and lyrical storytelling that are the Picking Violets trademarks. Stone does nearly all of the duo's songwriting, gaining inspiration from “everyone around me. A lot of it is personal experience,” she explains, “but about 80 percent is about someone else's walk that I've either listened to or walked through with them.” Notable names with whom she has written include Steve Dean (“Watching You,” “Round About Way”), Kyle Jacobs (“More Than a Memory,” “8th World Wonder”), Ben Glover (“Lost Get Found”), and Pat Alger (“The Thunder Rolls,” “Unanswered Prayers”), a co-writing experience she calls “life changing.” Stay tuned...new music and website t

Set List

Our set list changes a little depending on the venue.

We play a range of originals and well known covers. Everything from ballads to upbeat songs from artists such as Sheryl Crow, Bread, One Republic, and Miranda Lambert.

We can accommodate our set to the needs of the show. Typically our shows run from 30 minutes to a full hour show.