Stone Iris
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Stone Iris

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE | AFM

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Blues Rock




"Sonic 102.9 Band of the Month March 2013"

Stone Iris is the Sonic 102.9 Band of the Month for March 2013 - Sonic 102.9

"More Music from the Inbox: 22 April 2012 – Stone Iris"

...This damn song is so infectious its ridiculous... - Alan Cross

"CD Review - Illuminations EP"

8.5 / 10 ...The 5 songs here are a great demonstration of versatility and originality, but all it did was whet my appetite for more... - Confront Magazine

"Album Review - Illuminations EP"

4.5 / 5 Stars ...“Hide and Seek” is much more infectious than I could put in to words... - RockOverAmerica

"Album Review - Illuminations EP"

...In One Word: Transcendent... - Music Vice

"Album Review - Illuminations EP"

...the opening bass hook ... will catch you by surprise on your first listen to the song and will keep bringing you back to the song again and again... - Kingston Music Reviews

"Stone Iris at O'Flannigans"

...By the second song in their set, they already had a healthy crowd gathered in front of the stage, dancing and singing along... - Awesome Okanagan

"Stone Iris at O'Flannigans"

...By the second song in their set, they already had a healthy crowd gathered in front of the stage, dancing and singing along... - Awesome Okanagan

"Album Review - Illuminations EP"

4/5 Dragons - Vandala Concepts

"Stone Iris turns to busking and a fresh sound to entice new listeners"

...With the catchy nature of their sound, it’s not surprising their street performances help them gain attention... - The Gateway

"2013 Edmonton Music Awards Nominee"

Best Rock Album Nominee for 'Silhouettes [EP]'
Winner Announced April 28 - Edmonton Music Awards

"Stone Iris to mix it up at Fox & Goose"

... the band has a mature sound that's easy to groove to... - The Sacramento Bee

"Eclectic Friends at Play: The Magical Sound of Stone Iris"

...Once I played the tracks off their current EP 'Illuminations' I was a true fan!... - PORTAL Magazine

"Second Area Show For Stone Iris"

Second Area Show For Stone Iris - City Sun Times (Phoenix)

"RockOverAmerica – Interview – Stone Iris"

RockOverAmerica interview with Jeff Burwash of Stone Iris - RockOverAmerica

"Stone Iris plays energetic show for sparse audience"

Edmonton based rock band Stone Iris didn’t have many people out, March 3 at the Slice. But regardless, they put on an energetic show which exhibited a variety of influences including reggae, more modern 90’s rock and even some ’70s style riff rock of the ilk of Aerosmith. Throughout they featured excellent vocal harmonies and guitar hooks and were a lot of fun.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
- L.A. Beat

"Blues roots trio Stone Iris wants to tell you a story or two"

EDMONTON — One of the most memorable and fitting comment from when we sat down with Edmonton’s Stone Iris to chat about their upcoming EP release was that the South loved the band “for some reason.”

After hearing the lead single off their newest EP, the song “Have Mercy,” it became absolutely clear why.

A gritty departure from previous efforts, (which were oriented towards a lighter, reggae, influenced pop approach), “Mercy” layers rock-influenced honkytonk guitars, tight harmonies, gospel-style backup vocals and darker subject matter to stir up visions of showdown scenes in the old western movies. The remainder of the three-song EP also features a track about bank robberies and a ballad about murder.

It seems as though it has been a long and winding road to finding the true identity of Stone Iris. Presently a three piece, they’ve gone through several lineup changes with guitarist and vocalist El Niven and drummer/harmonica player Jeff Burwash at the helm since day one. Reid Thiel later joined on bass and vocals. As they set their sights on a new full-length album sometime in the next year, Stone Iris has gotten a taste for the blues.

In 2013, the band recorded their album Grande National, in Louisville, living out of their prized RV, which they affectionately call the Freedom Eagle. Burwash reflects on that time and how it has affected where they are today.

“I think our time in Kentucky was soaked up quite a bit when you compare previous EPs to the new one. Through the years we’ve written a lot of music. I think we’re coming to a point now where we’re not overly self-conscious anymore. Storytelling has become a very dominant aspect of our sound, especially on the new EP. After touring so much in the States and Canada, we’re learning that embracing who we are and where we’re from is a good thing. There are not a lot of places like Edmonton.”

The hardworking trio has moved through mass amounts of growing pains in the past year, especially in the wake of 2013, which included the recording of not just one LP, but two, as well as two separate two-month tours of the States. It was a very important lesson for the band to learn, recounts Niven.

“Touring that much, going through trials of self-realization, where you’re put in that place of being stripped down… I think it’s a lot easier to look at what you want to be doing. It wasn’t anything magical, but it was this collective feeling of honing in on what we are a little more and we started writing new material from there.”

Now that they’re home, for a little while at least, they’ve found a lineup that works, they’re ready to champion the new EP and begin tracking a new full-length album this winter.

Since the trio doesn’t play too often at home, their upcoming EP release parties are exciting opportunities to hear what these gentlemen have been getting up to.

Niven is hoping for a reaction, either positive or negative.

“Even if they hate us, I want them to think that it’s at least something original. We don’t wanna be like other bands. We want to be our own thing. So, if they walk away saying they hate it, that’s fine. I’m okay with that.” - Beatroute- by Brittany Rudyk

"Stone Iris "Mercy" (lyric video)"

Edmonton blues-rock troupe Stone Iris will release their latest EP Have Mercy next week, and to give you a taste of things to come, Exclaim! has got the premiere of the band's lyric video for "Mercy."

The new set of songs was recorded with producer Brian Moncarz (the Reason, Moneen, Acres of Lions) and hears the band cranking things up with a "rougher, louder" sound, while still retaining their rootsy blues-based vibes.

That sonic growth can be heard in the stomp and twang of "Mercy," which delivers a healthy dose of roots-rock riffs and pounding drums, complete with a clap-along breakdown midway through.

The accompanying video sees the band taking their newfound edge to the next level, smashing anything they can get their hands on against a brick wall splattered with the song's spray-painted lyrics.

Have Mercy is due out on August 21, and you can check out the video for "Mercy" in the player below right now.

Tour dates:

08/21 Calgary, AB - Dicken's
08/22 Edmonton, AB - The Mercury Room - By Sara Murphy


Have Mercy EP 2015

Grande National LP 2013

Illuminations EP 2012

Silhouettes EP 2010



Stone Iris is a rootsy, new-blues rock band out of Edmonton, Alberta. With a signature slow-burning and brutally honest sound, they’ve toured in the rain, snow and sun, from Vancouver to Toronto more than half a dozen times and taken their incredible live show throughout the entire United States, from coast to coast on three separate, two-month stints.

As a completely independent, self-sustaining band, Stone Iris has released several albums, have been nominated for multiple Edmonton Music Awards, and were voted Sonic 102.9’s Band Of The Month for March 2013. In the Fall of 2014, Stone Iris were named Indie Week 2014 Winners and will represent Canada at UK Indie Week in Manchester in May, 2015.

"Grande National," Stone Iris's latest full-length release, was recorded while on tour at Deadbird Studios in Louisville, Kentucky. The album, released in October 2013, garnered much attention from media and music lovers. Alan Cross, internationally acclaimed music reviewer said of one tune, "This song is so infectious, it's ridiculous." 

“Have Mercy” is the name of the current EP, the band has been working on with Toronto based producer Brian Moncarz (The Reason, Moneen, Acres of Lions).  It is largely informed by Stone Iris’s experiences playing country roadhouses, big city clubs, the streets, and blues jams from Vancouver to Toronto, Seattle To Nashville, from California to the Carolinas. "Mercy" is a celebration of the convergent influence, of the many people met, the music heard, and the personal challenges of being on the road, tired and hungry, for months on end. With "Mercy," Stone Iris emblazons its brand between the ever-blurring lines of roots and rock.

Infectiously edgy and brutally honest, our music is steeped in emotion and grit. Stone Iris brings new meaning to the word classic. 

Band Members