Meet Lucy Stone
It’s 11:30 on a Tuesday morning and I’m driving on I-81S through Pennsylvania when Lucy Stone hangs up on me. Or so I think.
My first question for the 20-year-old musician had been somewhere along the lines of, “Is that your real name?” The next thing I know, I’m listening to dead air. A few attempts to reach her again are met with a chirpy voice mail message.
“Hi this is Lucy. Leave a message…”
As I’m kicking myself for leading off with a joke, Stone calls me back with a laugh and an apology. “I was getting onto an elevator–no reception,” she says. “Sorry.”
The Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter (whose real name, it turns out, is NOT Lucy) will join drum gurus Rusted Root for their fall tour as both an opening act and a backup singer. The tour stops at Paper Mill Island in Baldwinsville on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Stone will also play a gig at the Red House Cafe on Sept. 12.
“My parents actually named me Erica,” Stone admits, to my surprise. “But shortly after naming me they decided I wasn’t an Erica because I had bright red hair, so they started calling me Lucy. It wasn’t until I was about six that I realized my real name was actually Erica.”
It wasn’t long after this realization that Stone’s career in music began. By age 12 she began teaching herself guitar. At 13 she played her first show. And by 14 she started playing with bands and frequenting coffee houses and open mics. Like most millennials, she received an education in classic rock from her father and eventually delved into the 90s indie scene (New Pornographers, Bell & Sebastian, etc.). Her mother, too, was a self-taught guitarist who fashioned her own banjo when she was in high school. Such musical seeds sprouted an initial inclination for rock.
“When I was a kid I really wanted to be a ‘rock star.’ But I think that’s every 12-year-old’s dream,” Stone says. “I think I’m a bit too awkward to be a rocker.”
Lately, her creative venture has steered her into the limitless realm of indie rock. She plays with several bands in the Philadelphia area, and, in April, released a solo EP, Would You? The EP (admittedly the only work of hers I’ve heard) relegates rudimentary instrumentals to the background, allowing her vocals to take center stage. Stone’s lingering lyrics have a gentle swagger steeped in subtle attitude. And, boy, can that girl sing.
Stone’s sound recently attracted the attention of Michael Glabicky–founding member of Rusted Root. Glabicky was introduced to her after touring the studios at Drexel University, where Stone is currently studying music industry. Shortly afterward, he emailed Stone asking her to sing on Rusted Root’s newest album, Fortunate Freaks.
“I went out two weekends in a row working 10-hour days in a private studio,” Stone says. “When we finished, I thought that was the end. Then I got a text from Michael asking me to go on tour and perform my part with the band.”
Joining her on tour will be the gentlemen featured on Would You: Sean Donaghy (vocals, guitar), Paul Impellizeri (bass), Isaac Louis (guitar), and Brandon Bost (guitar, piano). The band has been together since the release of the EP in April.
“It’s a short while for a band to be together and do such a big tour,” Stone says. “We didn’t expect things to happen this fast, but we don’t plan on slowing down at this point.”
Stone will play ten shows through the northeast, midwest and Canada with Rusted Root. She’s hitting up smaller venues along the way (like the Red House) to promote her newest EP, which debuts Sept. 7.
Get a full listing of Stone’s upcoming shows or buy tickets on her site.
Some Fun Facts About Lucy Stone:
Q. Team Edward or Team Jacob?
A. Neither. Can I be team “absolutely not?”
Q. Is it always sunny in Philadelphia?
A. Right now it’s pretty sunny. I would say it’s perpetually threatening to rain. But for the most part, pretty sunny.
Q. What’s your favorite breakfast food?
A. I don’t really like breakfast food. I think it’s weird. And I’m never up early enough to eat breakfast. So my favorite breakfast food is lunch.
Q. Why are your roads so awful in Pennsylvania?
A. I don’t know! But right now they’re paving my street. They started paving at 2 a.m. and have just been hammering the road for the past couple of days. And it’s awful. And I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but it’s terrible and it sucks and my van can barely make it up hills at this point, let alone avoid every pot hole. The road construction is my main qualm with Pennsylvania.