CD REVIEW: The Blue Stones

Posted: April 21, 2011 by Windsor Zene in CDs, Reviews

The Blue Stones – s/t

Jon Liedtke

The Blue Stones, Windsor’s own guitar/drum duo, featuring Tarek Jafar and Justin Tessier, have recently released their debut self titled EP, and are garnering a lot of attention because of it! The six-track album features all of their own tracks and has a great sound. The two employ a sound that is reminiscent of ’90s rock, mixed with that of some of the better known rock groups of today, for example, The Black Keys or The White Stripes. Their strong guitar riffs, combined with an impressive drum backing, help to create an enveloping sound that draws you in and refuses to let you go.

“Tire Tracks” sets the album off in the way that you would expect from these two guys: classy and tasteful. It is filled with vocal harmonies that the two have clearly spent a fair amount of time working out. “Vain Vixens”, the second track, raises the level a bit, with loud drums and guitar off the bat. Again, the two vocal tracks compliment each other wonderfully. Their syncopated riffs and strong drum backing ensures that every track keeps your foot tapping, or at least that internal beat meter going steady. This song pulls you into a feeling of ’90s nostalgia, but then comes the middle of the song, a breakdown that fits perfectly into the styles of today. At times you wonder just what band you’re listening to, or rather, what decade you’re in.

“Star Killer”, their next song, tones things down to allow the lead guitar player, Tarek, to start things off with a harmonic guitar riff. This song definitely gets across to the listener the idea that these guys are a modern day blues band, just doing things their own way. With a heavy foot on distortion, these guys are able to bring the grunge, but in a style that sounds oh so good. “What She Don’t Know (Won’t Hurt Her)”, is one of my favourite songs on the album. The lyrics, harmonies, and instrumentals, all come together in what can be described as the ‘Blue Stones’ way, for lack of a better word. It’s impressive that a duo like this can fill up a live venue with sound the way they do AND pack a CD with an impressive range of sound – these two know what they’re doing.

Arguably their most known song, “I’m a Stereo”, was just made into a music video directed by local filmmaker Gavin Michael Booth, which features two iPhone 4’s, and the Facetime technology. Making the rounds across internet tech blogs, their YouTube video is spreading virally in all the right places. The song, if you haven’t heard it, starts with a strong guitar riff that you can’t seem to shake during the day. The final track on the album, “More to Life”, slows things down, and sets the mood right off the bat. The vocal range of the two, harmonies displayed, and sheer ability to produce this breadth of music sets the duo apart. They’re able to slow things down when necessary, and bring it back up when needed.

It’s the stage presence of the duo which really ensures that the audience is in for a treat. Playing off of each other’s musical creativity, the two employ enough energy to turn heads and stay memorable. Their CD is captivating and enthralling, demanding an entire listen the first run through. A thoroughly enjoyable album which will continue to please the next time it’s listened to. Be sure to keep up with what these two are up to, because at the rate they are going, you’re most likely going to be hearing about them more and more.

The Blue Stones are playing on Friday April 22 at Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) with Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers and Cellos.

  1. Tom Scully says:

    Well covered review!

    Tarek and Justin are two of my favourite local musicians and I can see them doing really well. Their music, passion and intelligence really sets them apart.

    Windsor in general (not the people who already follow the local arts) is finally starting to understand that this city has much more to offer the world than we would have ever imagined – which is a breath of fresh air.

    Great blog!

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