"I write pretty Southern, you know," shrugs singer/guitarist Reid Stone. Coming up in the idyllic town of Oxford, Miss., his Southern twang is no surprise. But his recent move from Mississippi to the Lowcountry came unexpectedly.
Stone, 29, landed in Charleston in early 2008 after breaking away from jammy Americana-rock band Daybreakdown, a popular act with whom he played for nearly six years.
"Charleston was always one of my favorite places to play," says Stone. "The lead singer [from Daybreakdown] announced that he didn't want to go on the road for a while. That's what we did for a living. I didn't have anything else holding me down in Oxford, so I packed up my guitars and clothes and came on over."
Stone's bold move paid off. Gigging as a singer/guitarist led to cultivating a new band. "I wanted to get my feet planted," he says. "I started playing out and meeting people in bands, like the guys in Live Oak and Gaslight Street."
Reid's recent collaborations go under the name Guilt-Ridden Troubadour. The current roster incudes drummer John Picard (of John Brown's Body, Travis Allison Band), keyboardist/guitarist Jon Hager (ex-Modern Day Monks), and guitarist Brian "B.G." Graham, along with occasional guests. Most of the original material comes from Stone's solo catalog, with some additional sketches from Hager and Graham.
Reid and his bandmates look forward to wrapping a studio session, too. They've already tracked several songs with audio engineer Ransom White at White Noise Productions.
"The band is just now coming together," says Stone. "B.G. is now the lead guitarist, and he is a mean slide player. John is a great drummer, who's been around the block several times, and he stays busier playing drums than anyone I've ever met. Jon and I have played together quite a bit. He can pretty much touch anything and make it happen, and he may play a little bit of bass at the next few gigs. Ultimately, I want it to be a five-piece band with organ. I'm a junkie for the rock band with keys."