About Stone Foundation
Inspired by Stax Records, the Spencer Davis Group, and the Style Council, this Warwickshire, England-based modern soul band released material at a steady rate for over a decade before Paul Weller offered to produce their 2017 album, Street Rituals. That record, and its 2018 follow-up, Everybody, Anyone, were their first albums to grace the U.K. Top 30, and paved the way for the late 2020 LP Is Love Enough?
The seeds of Stone Foundation were sown in the early '90s. During this time, bass player Neil Sheasby and vocalist Neil Jones were playing in separate bands, and despite having both grown up in Warwickshire, they first met when their respective groups were on the same bill at a gig in London. Soon after their first meeting, both their bands split and the pair decided to try writing some music of their own. Their early days saw them experimenting with sounds and an ever-revolving lineup. During this period, they made three records: 2005's In Our Time, 2008's Small Town Soul, and 2010's Away from the Grain. But it was in 2011 that they got their first big break. John Bradbury, the drummer in ska band the Specials, caught Stone Foundation's live set at the Fiddler's Elbow pub in London, and invited them to support his band on a U.K. arena tour.
The year 2014 would also turn out to be significant in the band's history. Their record To Find the Spirit -- featuring guest vocals from Carleen Anderson and Nolan Porter -- entered the U.K. Top 75, and they were invited to tour Japan with the Visit Britain campaign, which led to a spot at the Fuji Rock Festival playing to a crowd of 4,000. Their 2015 follow-up, A Life Unlimited, attracted yet more impressive guest artists, with Graham Parker making an appearance. Their continued success also caught the attention of Weller. A fan of their song "Beverly," he produced and played on Stone Foundation's 2017 album Street Rituals." An in-concert recording at London's Islington Assembly Hall -- including guest appearances from Weller, Dr. Robert, and Danny Wilson -- soon followed as Live Rituals. As with Street Rituals, both of their subsequent studio LPs -- 2018's Everybody, Anyone and 2020's Is Love Enough? -- were recorded at Weller's Black Barn Studios in Woking, Surrey. ~ Bekki Bemrose & James Wilkinson