Several words and phrases come to mind when seeing a live Stolen Rhodes performance for the first time: fiery, sensational, tough as nails, hotter than a rattlesnake in a toaster oven…
Combining blues and rock with a touch of country and a heap of nostalgia, Philadelphia, PA (USA) rockers Kevin Cunningham (guitar), Jack Zaferes (bass), Matt Pillion (vocals, guitar, keys, saxophone) and Larry Shotter (drums) have spent the past year and a half touring in support of their critically acclaimed Slow Horse EP. The tour included over 250 dates plus festivals such as SXSW, Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, and Rocklahoma. They opened for iconic artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Robert Randolph, Drivin’ N Cryin’ and Blackberry Smoke. They also spent a month touring as support for the Marshall Tucker Band. Their energetic, crowd-pleasing performances subsequently led to spots on Skynyrd’s final Simple Man Cruise and the Lebrewski Cruise playing with Molly Hatchet, O.A.R. and Blackfoot.
In January 2016, Stolen Rhodes returned to the studio to record their highly anticipated full-length album Bend With The Wind. Recorded at Dylanava Studios outside of Philadelphia with the assistance of producer David Ivory (Halestorm, The Roots, Silvertide) and mastered by Ted Jensen (The Eagles, John Mayer, AC/DC), Bend With The Wind includes several songs the group has road tested over the years, with a few that were written right in the studio, which was a first for them.
“We took a kind of backwards approach to it,” explains Pillion. “Usually you have a song and play it live, then if it goes over well you put it on the record, but this was the exact opposite approach.” One track that Pillion was especially surprised by, however, was the slower tempo song “Save Me”. “I wrote it so quickly, it just seemed serendipitous. It’s a song that audiences have really responded to. It’s basically just about that feeling you get when things are going wrong, but there’s that one song that just takes the weight off your shoulders when you hear it.”
Bend With The Wind concludes with two bonus tracks that were recorded in a cabin using a vintage tape recorder, illustrating their diversity and acoustic artistry. “We have a fan favorite song called “So Long”, says Pillion, “it’s high energy and straight-up rock and roll, but we decided to record a laid-back, stripped-down version with no electric guitar and recorded completely live.”
Stolen Rhodes will be on the road throughout 2016 scheduled to play over 150 shows, including multiple stops all over the Northeast, Southeast, South and Midwest. They’ll be opening for bands like Blackberry Smoke, Gov’t Mule and the Marshall Tucker Band, along with touring on their own. Besides participating in large annual music festivals such as Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Rocklahoma and Alabama’s Toadlick Music Festival, Stolen Rhodes will be opening for the formidable Miranda Lambert at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally before heading across the pond in 2017 for their first European tour.
With their fiery, gasoline-laden live shows and catchy songs, Stolen Rhodes will blow your mind and quite possibly bruise your soul, as well.