Bluestone | Bluestone

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Etta James Little Feat Sons of Champlin

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United States - Washington

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Blues: Rhythm & Blues Jazz: Jazz-Funk Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Bluestone

Bluestone is piano, sax and vocal based, covering a range of styles from New Orleans R&B, Chicago blues to East Coast jazz.
Genre: Blues: Rhythm & Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. It's Your Thing
John Farey, Joe Farey, Allye Ratledge
4:07 album only
2. Bon Ton Roule
John Farey, Greg Miner
4:07 album only
3. Gold Mine
John Farey, Joe Farey, Allye Ratledge
4:14 album only
4. At Last
John Farey, Joe Farey, Allye Ratledge
4:28 album only
5. Let It Roll
John Farey, Joe Farey, Allye Ratledge
5:40 album only
6. If I AIn't Got You
John Farey, Joe Farey, Allye Ratledge
4:45 album only
7. Morning Dance
John Farey, Greg Miner
4:27 album only
8. Almost Like Being In Love
John Farey, Greg Miner, Allye Ratledge
2:35 album only
9. Runnin Blues
John Farey, Greg Miner
4:30 album only


Album Notes
Liner notes from the CD.
July 2011

Bluestone began over two years ago. They were sometimes a duet of bass and keyboard,
sometimes saxophone and keyboard, and sometimes a trio of bass, saxophone, and
keyboard. The constant was John Farey, on vocals and keyboard. He can sound like Boz
Skaggs or Dr. John or Ray Charles or Aaron Neville. John gives a tip of the fedora to
his San Francisco roots with Goldmine (Sons of Champlin, 1974). Bluestone captures
the essence of this song with their version. The band mixes jazz, delta blues, funk, and a
little groove. You hear the early days of the band on Bon Ton Roulet (Clarence Garlow,
1950), Morning Dance (Spyro Gyra, 1979), Almost Like Being in Love (Lerner & Loewe,
1954 for the musical Brigadoon), and Runnin’ Blue (Boz Skaggs, 1971) all recorded in
2009 with Greg Miner playing sax and flute.

The evolution of Bluestone has been exciting to watch and a joy to hear! That two-
year journey is recorded on this CD: a Master’s Series from the musician’s perspective.
John took an analytical approach to each song to respect how the composer and original
performer presented the song, and then brought a thoughtful approach to what it could
sound like in 2011. Here’s a chance to share Bluestone’s love for this music in a way
that will have you humming these tunes long after the CD has finished.

In early 2010, a new voice joined the group. This was not just any female voice, this was
Allye Ratledge from Tennessee by way of Austin, Texas! She has passion, power, and
perfect pitch. When you close your eyes, you hear Eva Cassidy or Etta James or Shanice
and more recently Alicia Keys. Her voice is magic. Over 60 national recording artists
have covered Its Your Thing (Isley Brothers, 1969) and it’s no wonder. This is a great,
instantly recognizable song. Audiences come to life when Allye tells you, “It’s your
thing, do what you wanna to do!” In At Last (Etta James, 1960) Allye demonstrates her
control and perfect pitch. Think of this song as a slow stroll with your special someone
on a warm summer evening. At last, your lonely days are over with this rendition.

If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys, 2003) is an emotionally charged recording! Learn about
Alicia Keys at and get a glimpse of why Allye
has such passion to help young female musicians. This song, with the studio choir
behind Allye, is exquisite. Something that you are so glad you heard.

Later in 2010, an energetic young Californian took over the saxophone duties. The apple
did not fall far from the tree with Joe Farey, John’s son. Joe has blazing fast hands,
soaring highs, and impeccable timing. To some he sounds like Cannonball Adderley
with Miles Davis, because his fingering is so precise and his notes are so crisp. Joe can
carry a solo or add just the right sax as backup and did I mention that he plays the piano –
that’s him on If I Ain’t Got You!

In Let it Roll (Little Feat, 1988), Bluestone shows how much fun they have on stage and
in the studio. The harmonies are a kick, the sax is out-of-bounds, and the B-3 goes crazy.

We are thrilled with this inaugural Bluestone CD. This trio has rare chemistry to
compliment their impressive musicality. When the music starts the party begins!


Robb and Linda Burk


Boxing Day with the Bluestone Trio
by “Calamity” Jane E. Herrold
January 2011

The holiday vortex of Christmas fell on a Saturday this year, and I completely forgot it was Sunday when I stopped by the Fort George Brewery for a concluding pint of Vortex IPA. I was pleasantly surprised to see a candy-apple red key board, a saxophone, and three microphones waiting in the staging area. Fort George Brewery treats our community to wonderful music every Sunday at 8PM, and Boxing Day 2010, turned out to be quite special.

Father John, presided the “Sunday service” on keyboards, with son, Joe, on saxophone. Bluestone launched the show with a couple of ear-catchers borrowed somewhere from the depths of the soulful R&B jazz section. I promptly called my friend Rena who was previously too lazy to get out of her pajamas, held the phone toward the music and said, “You need to get dressed, Girlfriend. Get your butt down here because these guys are FUUUUNN-KY.”

Was the lovely raven-haired lady in blue waiting in the wings, Bluestone’s songbird? Well, all I have to say is that you don’t “buck out of the chute” with Etta James’s “At Last” unless you are up to the task. My new best friend, Allye was more than ready for the ride she took the lucky Fort George listeners on that night. What a voice!

The more I watched “Father John” and his quirky, animated “jazz turrets” style, the more I realized he bordered genius. The mega-talented trio truly worked the room, seeing to everyone’s good time. King Harvest’s “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” actually got me off my barstool for a turn around the dance floor. Hallelujah, BLUESTONE! You are fun, animated, friendly, enthusiastic showpeople who love your work.



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