The Stone Foxes' sound manages to be jammy without actually crossing the threshold into hippie music. It's blues rock without being the bland kind you're forced to endure from bad small-town bar bands. It's psychedelic without falling into vapidity—so nice for those of us who shy away from noodling music that can only be appreciated under the influence.
This Bay Area band's sophomore effort is as much Lynyrd Skynyrd as it is The Jon Spencer Blue Blues Explosion. Even though the band hails from the West Coast, I imagine these songs being played at a barbecue joint on a bayou with the band decked out in feathered hair and bell bottoms. That image comes into focus even more so with the sassy track "Patience," which offers lines like, "Well, hey there little honeydew, no, I don't care for you," sung like Skynyrd's "Gimme Back My Bullets," but with extra trash talking.
There aren't many lazy songs here. "Reno" gripes about gambling life without really giving us a great story, but others like "Passenger Train," about life on the run, is catchy, action-packed gold. Each twang, harmonica riff and guitar solo is composed thoughtfully, even while the music feels rowdy and impromptu.
The Stone Foxes plays the Top Hat Friday, Sept. 17, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.