Well we knew the man could build an amazing bass but we weren't aware that he could play one quite so well ... until now. As a result of being in Cincinnati preparing for the big Stonefield store event, All About That Bass, to be hosted on April 25th by the Willis Music's Eastgate Store, on Friday April 20th Stonefield Musical Instrument Company Founder Tomm Stanley took a road trip to Athens, Ohio where Stonefield endorsing artist Freekbass was performing at the Casa Nueva Restaurant and Cantina. It was a great opportunity for the pair to show off what Stonefield was all about when Freek invited Tomm to join him and his band up on stage.
Freek tells us, "When Tomm told me that he was going to drive up from Cincinnati to see our Athens show, I suggested he bring a bass along and get up to play with us. Tomm seemed a bit shy about it, giving me the old line of, 'my chops are a bit rusty' but I wasn't having any of that; if he was coming to the show, he was getting up to jam." And as things transpired, we'd say that Freek's insistence was well placed. Stanley took the stage about 45 minutes into the show, joining Freek and his band the Bump Assembly, featuring Razor Sharp Johnson on keys and Rico Lewis on drums, both alumni of P-Funk as well as Razor spending time in Bootsy Collins' Rubber band and Rico still touring on drums with George Clinton, for a jam over the classic David Bowie song, Fame.
"What a fantastic moment", said Stanley "to walk on stage with these three monster artists, jam and trade licks ... life as a luthier doesn't get much better than that." When asked about his concern over his chops, Tomm said of his performance, "I'd give myself a seven out of ten." When asking the others if they agreed, with Freek smiling in approval Razor said, "Don't pay no attention to that, Tomm Stanley was in the house!" And honestly, from our point of view, we've already asked ourselves about how many luthiers can hold their ground on a stage with such world-class talent? We can't help but stop and wonder, with Stonefield beginning to be firmly established in the bass guitar market, if this isn't the beginning of new directions for Tomm Stanley.
For more detail on all of these guys and Stonefield basses check out www.freekbass.com and www.stonefieldmusic.com. And if you happen to be within driving distance of Cincinnati on April 25th, stop into the Willis Music Eastgate Store for three separate free Clinics and Masterclasses by Stonefield artists JD Short and Freekbass, beginning at 4:30 PM and running through until 9:00 PM. For full details on the event see www.willismusic.com/bass.