Saturday, February 12, 2011

Travelin' Light with Dominique Stone

Whenever I go out on the town and run into Dominique Stone, I know things are about to get interesting. Dom's got himself situated squarely on the pulse of the blues in the South Sound area and beyond. You may know Dominique Stone from his days holding down the bottom with the Randy Oxford Band, a great gig, but just one facet of a very talented local gem.

Nominated for Best Blues Bass in 2008, when asked what he has been doing lately, I got the low down for you all. Though I do see Dominique here and there at benefits and at shows, I must say, I didn't know jack.

"I joined up with Paul Manual and helped him get his youth organization up and running by training the kids on how to perform, how to be a team, how to learn songs as a band, and other things in life. It is not just about being a good musician, but how to be a good person that respects everyone in the business. I have also been giving lessons to kids for drums, bass, guitar, and vocal training too."

"I have been writing a lot of songs on my own plus collaborating with a few local artists, including Aury Moore and Charlie Marinkovich (presently the guitar player with Iron Butterfly), and performing 'a Ii'l on the rock side,' and finally, I have had my own band called 'On The Level' that was a 'strictly variety' kind of music group playing around the south end, featuring Heather Rayburn (formerly of TROB). I worked a few open mic nights that didn't pan out very well, maybe because of the economy."

"So what am I up to now? The market in Washington is really tough. I came out of a scene were it was variety dance music (Vegas, Minneapolis, etc.), mostly casinos and a lot of traveling, but the money was greater than it is around here. I am heading back out there to try and make that kind of money again, 'cause I can't make it here (unless some miracle happens with a friend). There are a lot of clubs here, but the budgets are really at an all-time low - the worst I have ever seen or been a part of in Washington."

"Rev Deb also asked me if I had anything to say to any kid or player out there trying to make it in the business. What I would tell them is to respect everyone around, be a team player, never stop learning, and don't get stuck on one style cause there are many ways to make money in this business if you know more than one style. If you think you are better than someone else, there is someone out there with the same attitude, and they are probably better than you. So stay humble, learn from each other, and if you are having trouble with a style or song, go out and listen to a band playing what you want to play and learn from hearing and seeing. There are so many great players in the area that you can learn from."

"Music comes from God; when all is said and done, when all the bombs, economy, and whatever goin' on in the world gets bad, remember as a musician it is your job to make people forget about their troubles and have fun."

Wow, that is an armload of great advice. I am saddened to learn how difficult it can be for an innovative and gutsy performer of Dominique Stone's caliber to make a living as a working musician here in the great Northwest. That's one great big footprint to leave behind, but something tells me the young people he has been mentoring are already reaching to fill those shoes, and to do us all proud.

Thank you Dominique for all you contribute. We hope your next journey brings you joy, and we look forward to having you back safe, happy, and wealthy, with life stories to share. Please bring your beautiful smile and your down-to-earth musical genius back to us soon!

You can contact me at if you are interested in baring your soul to the reverend.

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