Singer/guitarist Stoney B. grew up in Chicago listening to the music of his father, Lil’ Howlin’ Wolf, aka Jessie Sanders. “My dad was mentored by Howlin’ Wolf, and he introduced me to many blues legends in the Chicago scene,” says Stoney.
“My roots are from Chicago and the South, and my music is still the blues...in its many interpretations. It’s delivered in a way of feeling. Bluesmen are storytellers, and the music is about life.”
Stoney moved to New Orleans, where he spent over a dozen years as a street musician before relocating to San Diego in 2007. “I lost almost everything to Hurricane Katrina. After I got to California, I ran out of money and had to move out of the hotel where I had been staying. I lived under the bridge on F Street and ate food from St. Vincent de Paul.”
The Stoney B. Blues Band debuted in July 2010 at the South Park Bar and Grill. Their latest release, It’s Showtime, was nominated Best Blues CD at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards. The band performs Friday, August 26, at Riley’s Music Lounge in Point Loma.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1) Muddy Waters, The Essential Collection. “Muddy walked the line.”
2) Various artists, Blues Story. “This is a great compilation with B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Elmore James, and Jimmy Reed. They all lived the life of bluesmen. They laid down the foundation for the kind of music I play.”
3) John Lee Hooker & Friends. “He’s raw and unorthodox. He spoke the way he did, and he told it the best way he could, and I find him funny.”
BEST FREE HANGOUT?
“For me, it’s the VA Hospital in La Jolla. I get to hang around fellow veterans and drink free coffee. Many veterans are in the process of improving their lives, and I get to witness some of that miracle.”
“The Mighty Clouds of Joy in Chicago, around 1985. They tore the auditorium up with some foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing music. The spirit of God was there!”
MOST MEMORABLE DAY?
“Muddy Waters’s funeral. I was the first to arrive at his funeral in Chicago. I went in and viewed his body, and I was in there all by myself. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live.”
BEST THING YOU EVER HAD TO LET GO OF?
“My first wife, who died in November 1977.”
BIGGEST LIE YOU’VE TOLD?
“That I could smoke more weed than anybody. That was in my late teens.”
FIRST TIME YOU GOT DRUNK?
“My grandfather made moonshine back in Alabama, and he used to keep the gallon jugs behind his bed. I was 14, visiting from Chicago. As I watched the adults indulge, I decided to try it myself. The first drink took my breath away. I crept around behind his bed three more times before I got sick and threw up. The secret was out.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
1) “Travel the planet, especially Australia and Japan.”
2) “I’d love to have my own blues club.”
3) “Salvage some of the wreckage of the past.”
BEST PICKUP LINE?
“Do you want to go half on a baby?”
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
1) “I’m a big dreamer.”
2) “Since Hurricane Katrina, I respect life a lot more.”
3) “I’ll sing and play the blues until I die.” ■
Stoney B. Blues Band