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“Stone Senate Write-Up from The Cool TV”
featured in “The Cool TV
Robert of THECOOLTV Caught up with Stone Senate

Stone Senate img1Last week while covering the Bullet Boys concert in Connecticut for THECOOLTV, I had my eyes opened to some rocking music. STONE SENATE..is a five piece..” kick ass”.. band from Nashville TN. featuring the following members:

Clint Woolsey, Marcus Brown, Mike Thompson, Paul Zettler, and Lucas Caswell.

Stone Senate img2Stone Senate opened up for the Bullet Boys, and I must say that in no time they will be headliners! I tried to put their sound together in my tired head, and I came up with the following.. A combination of the 80’s era with a dash of some 90’s nectar. I was amazed how great they sounded..and how clean the riffs were! The band played their tails off for about a half hour, and after the show I had the pleasure to connect with a few of the members. I knew right away that fame has not ripped through their heads, they were down to earth, and pleasant to chat with. I was given an advanced copy of their new cd, and I must say that each song has its own feeling and meaning. The one song that stood out the most was called “Dreams”..And these guys are living their dreams rocking across America! And America will soon know who Stone Senate is..Rock is alive again..and Stone Senate are on the front lines!

“Don’t Stop A-Rockin’”
featured in “The Impaler Speaks
These days, Nashville is known pretty much for churning out soulless, formulaic, pre-packaged pop stars in glitter-covered cowboy hats, tailor-made for mass consumption by those unable or unwilling to seek out original music. Thankfully, Nashville-based Stone Senate has nothing at all to do with the city’s cookie-cutter machine. In fact, one listen to the band’s eponymous debut will have the ghosts of Music City’s glory days – from old Hank to the original Sun Records crew to the indispensible outlaws of the glorious days of 1970s country – smiling broadly as they dust off their worn-out boots for one more ride. While not exactly a country band, Stone Senate – comprised of dynamic frontman Clint Woolsey, six-string-heroes-in-waiting Mike Thompson (lead guitar) and Marcus Brown (rhythm guitar), boom-heavy bassist Paul Zettler, and, playing the part of ‘the drummer’, Lucas Caswell (just having a little fun there – Caswell is not just a tight, powerful drummer, his bio notes him as a King’s X fan, earning him instant status as a 100% The Impaler approved superstar; further, the also-badass Phil Mann is credited with drums on the album – except for the bonus track, ‘Hard To Stay Warm’, but Lucas Caswell is now a permanent member of the band) – definitely draw on both classic country and modern alt-country influences to craft their particular brand of rootsy rock ‘n’ roll. The closest single-band comparison I could make off-hand would be to Cross Canadian Ragweed, as Stone Senate – like Cody Canada’s crew – deftly mix the flavor of true country (a little Waylon Jennings, perhaps a little Bruce Robison) with both the attitude and the power of the rockin’ side of Americana (Son Volt, Drive-By Truckers, The Drams). Stone Senate also throw in elements of pure American rock ‘n’ roll (The Allman Brothers band, sure, but also a bit of The Replacements and perhaps a touch of Tesla) and metal (like guitarists Grady Cross and Cody Canada of the aforementioned Cross Canadian Ragweed – who cemented a place in my heart with their song ‘Dimebag’ – Thompson and Brown clearly earned their chops by playing a bit of the old heavy-heavy). Ultimately, though, influences are influences, but what matters most is the answer to the question ‘what have you done for me lately?’… and what Stone Senate have done with their debut – and, hopefully,will continue to do for a long time to come – is to prove that there are gutsy, highly talented acts out there that are prepared to carry the torch for real rock ‘n’ roll. For my money, this band – alongside contomporaries such as Podunk and Southbound Drive – are proof positive that rock is alive and well… even in Nashville.

“Stone Senate Turns It Up in Nashville”
Story by Rick Moore

No other city has a music culture like Nashville, where incredible songwriters and performers labor anonymously by day and ply the trade they love, regardless of the financial reward, at night. A band that has been bubbling under the surface for years in Music City is Stone Senate, a group fronted by Clint Woolsey, and whose edgy brand of rock is neither what Music Row is used to nor what might be going on at the alternative clubs around town, but something alternatively heavier and deeper.

Stone Senate might be compared to a heavier version of, say, Lynyrd Skynryd, with crunchy overdriven guitars that have more to do with the hard rock legends of the 70’s and 80’s than with any country or rock performers of today, but with vocals that are sung and not screamed. The band’s new album Stone Senate is now available, with hard driving anthemic pieces like “Hell I Waited,” “Cemetery Song” and “Love’s A Disease.” The influences of the members of Stone Senate-Woolsey, Lucas Caswell, Paul Zettler, Mike Thompson, and Marcus Brown-include everyone from Van Halen to Waylon Jennings, The Doors to the Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin to the Drive-By Truckers. Wearing those influences on their sleeves, the band follows the tradition of many a classic rock band by starting some of their tunes with quiet, open-string arpeggiated intros that lead into power chords and crashing drums that make way for Woolsey’s vocals.

Woolsey said the band is selling its eponymous CD via the usual digital outlets, but other plans are in the works as well.

“It’s on iTunes and CD Baby, and you can also find it on our website,” said Woolsey. “We might try to do something with an indie label-see if the right label would want to pick it up, maybe go that route. But we also want to get a single out to radio. We are working with a radio promotion guy, and between doing that and working with a booking agent, we’re still trying to figure out what all we can do to get the record out to the masses.”

Woolsey said one hurdle to over come is that the band’s songs aren’t the 2:50 pieces that country and pop radio demand.

“Our material’s not exactly [extended jams] like the Allman Brothers, but some of it is pretty long, so we have to kind of pick and choose what the singles will be and who we send material to, “Woolsey said. “We’re leaning towards stations like 102.9 The Buzz, real rock stations, but it could also go to the (AAA) Lightning 100-type stations as well. So we‘re kind of looking at both of those markets. We are still trying to decide which would be the best song to send to radio; we’re gonna let some of the folks we’re working with guide us to figure out which song it should be. I personally can hear just about any song on the album being single material.”

Woolsey has seen the music business from the inside out at the highest levels for many years as the son of Erv Woolsey, manager of George Strait, Lee Ann Womack and other country stars. Even though he himself hasn’t followed the traditional country route of the best- known of his father’s clients, the music business is the music business, and Woolsey is a veteran of it. When he’s not busy with Stone Senate, Woolsey co-fronts Hotel Coral Essex, more of a country band that holds court on the weekends at Losers Bar and Grill in Nashville’s Vanderbilt area, a club that is partially owned by his father.

“With Hotel Coral Essex, we started out doing cover songs but we’ve moved over to original material as well,” Woolsey said. “We’ve been together for about three and a half years and we play quite a bit, and are basically just looking to get some more stuff on the books. We’ve toured a little and played around Nashville a lot, and, if it’s possible, I think maybe we were playing in Nashville too much. Not playing out as much almost makes a gig a special event, maybe gets people to come out more if you aren’t playing all the time.”

Woolsey himself engineered Stone Senate, which was produced by the band with Tres Sasser (Will Hoge, Vegas Cocks), and mixed by Sasser and Chris Grainger (Switchfoot, Jeff Coffin). He said that it doesn’t get much better than working with high-caliber studio veterans such as Sasser and Grainger, and playing in a band with members whose resumes include opening for such acts as Hootie and the Blowfish and Great White. “We’re real proud of our music and the new album,” Woolsey said, ”and we’re real excited to be getting it out to the people.”