A dark, swaggering Joe

ALTERNATIVE country band Stoney Joe is set to release it’s third album, Fuel for the Fire, in a blaze of swaggering good times.

“We don’t want to give the game away but we’re doing something a bit special – our shows always have an element of theatre,” lead vocalist, Roly Skender says, adding they’re splashing out on a smoke machine.

“And Carl [Jensen] may have magic tricks up his sleeve,” Skender says of the band’s bassist and occasional train whistle blower.

Stoney Joe. Photo supplied

Stoney Joe. Photo supplied

Circus Murder

Stoney Joe formed in 2011, but go back to the 90s when the quartert performed as Circus Murder.

“We went off and did other things; eventually we came back to the roost,” Skender says.

Stoney Joe performs with a dizzying array of traditional and modern instruments, with their fingers picking the devil out of banjos and guitars, while ocarinas, spoons and a stomp box giving old-style country authenticity.

A 1980s synthesizer adds depth and difference to the sounds.

”And we feature a wobble board,” says Skender, throwing some quirkiness into the mix.

“We don’t have a double base, we have an electric bass [and] we like the sound of that with the synthesizer.”

The band’s first two albums, Brown Bread and Rice (2012) and Hot Jerky (2013) are foot-tappers that pull on the heartstrings.

The three-year wait for a third album was no accident, as they experimented with a darker, laid-back acoustic swagger that takes more excursions into downbeat electronica than their earlier stuff.

The lyrics also took a darker turn.

“Based around darker stories, moonlight and scary roads in the desert, — we like to explore that,” Skender says.

A multitude of artist influence Stoney Joe’s music including Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Robert Johnson – and the Soggy Bottom Boys.

Hang on that’s not a real band.

Seems the soundtrack from the movie Oh Brother ,Where Art Thou is a bit of a favourite with Stoney Joe.


They performed the full score to a sell-out crowd at the 2015 Perth fringe festival.

“We had all the music from the film and worked with 20 musicians.”

Head on down to Babushka (Leederville Hotel) Saturday, June 4 and expect the unexpected.  Tix a very reasonable $13.30 at oztix.com.au.


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