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South Texas Living

Polished Edge: Stoney LaRue to headline music at Jubilee

Polished Edge: Stoney LaRue to headline music at Jubilee
Stoney LaRue

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May 22, 2013
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Stoney LaRue will headline the music at the 69th annual Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee Friday, June 14, in Stockdale.

LaRue, a native Texan, is credited with making the Red Dirt Music movement a nationwide phenomenon. Red Dirt artists combine the best of Texas swing, Kentucky bluegrass, Southern rock, and even Tejano!

His first album, “The Red Dirt Album,” in 2005 was followed by “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” in 2007.

LaRue’s fourth album, “Velvet,” was released in 2011 and was ranked No. 15 on the country charts and No. 53 on the Billboard Top 100.

“I had a fiddle player and people kept telling me, ‘You need to get a band,’” recalled the performer/songwriter. “Live at Billy Bob’s was like jumping straight into the fire: Two weeks after putting the band together, we recorded the album, hit the road, and did 250 dates a year. We never looked back.”

After six years and all that living, the album “Velvet” marks a new kind of cohesion for the man who’s built a career on live performances. Working with award-winning producer Frank Liddell and Mike McCarthy, “Velvet” was recorded over three years in Nashville, and finds LaRue melting down the playbook and expectations for everyone involved.

Liddell enlisted Glenn Worf on bass, Randy Scruggs on acoustic, Glen Duncan on fiddle, Chad Cromwell and Fred Eltringham on drums, Oran Thornton on guitar, and Jim Hoke on accordion, steel, and flute. Recognizing the power of cohesion for LaRue’s voice, Liddell recorded the sessions with everyone on the floor, letting the musicians bleed into each other’s tracks.

“‘Velvet’s’ silky melody and gentle rhythms show the singer self-aware, recognizing that he’s got too many miles behind him to deserve the person he’s singing to, and yet ... he wants her to touch his soul, to lighten his life, to make him somehow more.”

“Velvet” paints a picture of what it means to be free but aware, willing but uncertain -- and always, always drawn to the light. “I believe in a lot of things: Trust. Friendship. Smiling. The beauty of it all. And hope. Hope is one of the bigger ones ... Somewhere out there, it’ll all come together.” Stoney LaRue is sure of it -- and it echoes on all 10 tracks.

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