By Cathy Hansen
The Happy Family Restaurant in Battle Ground, Wash., at 611 E. Main Street, is where you will find the fairly new group
called The Jade Stone Band. This three-piece eclectic group will surprise you with their sound. They are a classic rock and roll, blues and country band.
The Jade Stone Band has played at Happy Family since August of 2013 and you can see how the audience enjoys their talent. While at the club, checking them out and getting pictures, a gentleman came up to the stage, dropped money in the tip jar and asked if they knew any country. So, in professional form, they went from playing jazz to country in a snap of the fingers!!!You will find that the Happy Family lounge and restaurant is very spacious, for setting and the dance floor as well as the restaurant area.
Members of the band are Jade Stone, Spike Conti and Phunkbone Slim.
Jade Stone, the definitive guitar player and vocalist, cites “all the usual suspects” as his musical influences. His love of and knowledge about music are reflected in his personal approach to music. He relates that he has always been a guitar player. From the first, he says, “something inside me said, ‘you have to play that!’” His studies in jazz gave him the technical knowledge that provides enhanced freedom on his instrument. He says he did not pursue jazz performance, but that it expanded his horizons.
Stone has worked his guitar talent across the U.S., from Miami to Anchorage and Detroit to San Diego. In the ‘60s, he was in a band called The Peak, which was the opening act for Ike & Tina Turner, Ted Nugent, James Gang, Brownsville Station and many others. Stone has many interesting stories from that period. He worked for the Ann Arbor Blues Festivals, circa ’68 and ‘69, as security. Locally, Stone has been a key member of Reckless Abandon and The Sinners Club. He also hosts an open mike jam at the Gresham Inn, every other Sunday night.
Bass player/vocalist Spike Conti started playing bass in 1968. There were so many guitar players, he thought the only way he would get in a band for sure was to pick up the bass. He learned lots of Beatles and BeeGees songs. “Growing up, the radio was my constant companion, he says. He sang along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the groovy stuff that kids were dancing to. The first band he played in was Genesis West in 1969.
Conti has been pretty much a hobby player ever since then, mostly sitting in at open jams and, at times, he would play in a rock and roll band. His taste in music includes blues, R&B, jazz, funk, country…”I even like rap and hip hop.” He does some writing and home recording and has an extensive bass guitar collection that he loves. Since retiring,he has been able tospend more time playing in local clubs and other venues.
Conti has played bass with The Jade Stone Band for about a year.Prior to that, he had played quite a few times with Stone at the open jam at Mojo’s in Vancouver, when that was still open. He loves playing music, entertaining people and interacting with an audience and it shows when he is on the stage. He sings lead and harmony, but considers himself to be more of a supporting player.
Drummer Phunkbone Slim started playing drums at 6-years old. “I got a pair of sticks from my dad, then a drum set from my mother,” he says. He started out playing in the basement of his home, learning drums, then decided to play in school, where he was required to take lessons to join the class. “My drum teachers were: The late Dee Williams; Mel Brown; Mark Goodenberger of Central Washington University,” he says. Besides the Jade Stone Band, Slim has played with The Bar Pilots and Moonbeams. You can tell how he loves what he does on stage, with his infectious smile.
For booking info, call Stone at 971-645-5271