Madstone the hard-hitting group of southern rockers know what they’re about and come out swinging with every track

Since 2005, MadStone has been rocking their fans. It's the music of Steve Burnside, Mark Doolin, and James Stone. Tom Jones on Bass, James York on Drums, TJ Bell on vocals and guitar, and James Stone on vocals and guitar. This is a hard driving Southern Rock. This is New Country music, Texas Rock n Roll. Pour some whisky and turn it up!

"I have to wait for the song.  When they comes, sometimes it's easy like Freedom Isn't free was written in a few hours but it was a lot of thought first for the words to describe what I was feeling and seeing.  I have some awesome musicians to work with.  I present what I've done and let them decide how it should morph into what finally gets recorded.  Sometimes the end result is very different from what I presented, but always better for it.  Then as we move into the studio, it morphs again depending on the engineer, adding background vocals, etc.

I never think about a particular direction.  This release is our third and you can tell where we've come from the quality, and the feelings in these tunes.  But they are all over the place.  Heavy Thunder is the name of this CD.  Each tune is very different across several genres but always rock.  We're calling it Texas rock.  It's a mix of southern rocks, our roots, classic rock, and country rock.  I can't control where these tunes come from.  They come in the middle of the night or from just playing something over and over that comes to mind.  Each song is a different feeling, the way I communicate.  When I was young, I didn't express myself well or at all.  Music gave me a way to communicate what I was feeling in a thoughtful, careful way.  I'm not the best guitarist or vocalist in the world, but I have always been able to pass the feeling on both in the way I play and the way I sing.  People get it, they feel it, and they see it.  I lose myself in what I'm doing every time I perform.  That skill is not an easy one to come by and takes years to learn and some performers never get very good at it.

Life is where these thoughts and ideas come from.  I have an awesome wife, Diane, who encourages me at every step, comes to the shows, comes to rehearsals, and helps doing sound, and recording, and always gives me her honest opinion.  If your life partner is not into your music, you got a problem.  I write software during the day which allows me to play pretty much any time I want.  We have a studio, nice one, that allows us to go play whenever we want right here.  My drummer lives with us and works with me and music is what we do.  We've been together for close to 15 years now..

Wow, there's so much.  Starting from my Father who told me I'd never make it in music which made me try even harder. Then I think it was an old friend, Steve Burnside, we still play some of his tunes, he passed away several years ago.  We talked about the crazy wild man inside some of us musicians that must get out.  You have to control him to a certain extent but without music, there's no outlet.  Musicians communicate on a level that no other humans ever experience.  When I'm playing, I look around, listen to what my band mates are saying to me through their music.  It makes good music into great music.  It's what gets you those dynamics and allows those feelings to be felt by those listening.

I used to live in Paso Robles California.  It's 1/2 way between SF and LA and there's just not much going on there.  We finally got in our home here in Temple Texas, December of last year.  We're about an hour away from Austin, the live music capital of the world.  We're close to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.  6th street Austin is like 15 blocks of venues both sides of the street with bands downstairs and upstairs, much like Nashville but without the recording studios.  The music scene here is why we moved here.

I've been playing my whole life, started on cello as a kid, played the Northern Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 1971 as a kid and played quartets at city functions in 9th grade.  Got out of high school, played bass for 10 years but always played guitar and wrote music.  Been in a band ever since.  Tommy has been playing his whole life as well and played with some big names,  Sometimes I wonder what he's doing here with me.  Andy is our newest member, he's been playing his whole life as well.  Madstone has had several reincarnations over the years like any band.  It's the music that keeps us together.  

I started out playing the 12 string as a kid. Always had one.  As such, my picking was my strong suit in the beginning.  This melody and style of picking came out of years of playing around.  It's just pretty.  Perhaps the prettiest 12 string picking I've ever heard.  Over the years, it's had several sets of lyrics, but this last version is the one.  It's a love song as any pretty song should be.  The lead that a previous Madstone lead guitarist put on this is just haunting, also very pretty.  And the bass line that Al Young, our previous bass player put on this is really one of the best lines I've ever heard, love what he did. Tommy does just exactly what it needed for drums. And even being pretty, the song rocks.

I'm a rocker, love southern rock.  Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, love the Outlaws, Steve Ray, ZZ Top, but I also love Led Zeppelin, favorite song is Ramble On, that bass line, Pink Floyd, Comfortably numb, that first lead, and another favorite is Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith.  My favorite guitarist though is Michael Schenker, UFO days, Rock Bottom live.

This song, Your Eyes was a very long process, one of those that takes a lifetime.  I wrote the melody and the picking back in the 70s.  The lyrics as they took several iterations over a 6 month period as it was being recorded separately at a friends studio.  Then the members of Madstone got together and re-recorded it again, making changes as we went.  The final recording is absolutely perfect this time.  I think every musician writes a couple tunes early in their life that don't get heard until many years later.  That's why you see so many bands with one CD and they can't come up with anything better after that.  Madstone is still creating.  Heavy Thunder is our 3rd effort, best yet, better to come, already we have at least 3 tunes ready to record.  Your Eyes is off the 2nd CD, the orange one.

Temple Texas, I spend most of my time playing music.  I write software for a living and it enables me to play whenever I want.  I'm finishing up our new studio in our huge 4 car garage and that takes a lot of time.  But mostly, I like to play, to entertain, and the travel and lifestyle being a musician can bring you.  

Be ready when the time comes.

Don't sit around thinking that when the chance to show your artistry finally comes around, and it's the right people, that they are going to sit around waiting for you to bone up,  Be ready, get there now.  Be the best you can be.  The time will to shine come, be ready when the time comes.

We recently, last year moved to Texas.  I have our studio half done, the control room is done.  Still need to add insulation, sheet rock, texture, and paint for the playing area.  Can't wait.  Since I moved to Texas, seems I needed to bone up on some Stevie Ray Vaughn.  So I've been working on Texas Flood, Pride and Joy, and some others.  We have 3 CDs, but one still needs to play covers,  We don't like doing anything that we can't do at least as well or better than the original or at least make it our own.  On the 2nd CD, the orange one, same one that Your Eyes is on, we did a remake of 2 tunes, Sweet Melissa by he Allman Brothers and one of my favorites, Highway Song by Blackfoot,  We like to play that as an encore tune at gigs." James explain.

Though they was featured in recently released Lifoti's January/February 2020 issue 11, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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