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Est. 2018 - Grand Rapids, MI.
Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. The 7 members of Stone Soup have combined and done just that with their music. With varying backgrounds from country and western swing, to rock, blues, funk and soul, they are crafting a new sound that is shaking up the Midwest from their home base in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Band founder and rhythm guitarist Branden Garner spent 2007 to 2017 as front man of The Waxies, Grand Rapids very own Irish/Gypsy Punks. He was inspired to start Stone Soup and The Broken Teeth by the music of Sturgill Simpson, who so skillfully blended elements of honky tonk, classic country and soul, with lyrics that went far beyond cheatin' and truckin'. "I knew I was on to something when folks started responding to my Craigslist post not wanting to audition, but just wondering when we were playing!"
Vocalist and guitarist Nathan Walton is a passionate artist/musician from West Michigan. Building on experience in the music industry from a young age, Nathan has developed a soul-driven approach to his music career. In addition to providing vocals for Stone Soup, Nathan also has a solo project derived from an earlier band, Stone Thrown. With soulful singing that is at once heartfelt and stirring, Nathan brings all the elements of vintage rock and roll to the band. When he’s not performing, Nathan spends time teaching, producing, and writing music.
Colin McCorkle adds keys and backup vocals to the band. A self-described music addict, he is always looking to dive into the next musical opportunity that presents itself. Colin has played in a number of bands throughout Michigan, playing keyboards, banjo, bass and everything in between.
Michael Coburn joined the group on lead guitar after drummer Michael Brown called him with an "unusual" project. Coming from a rock and blues background, Coburn admits he was apprehensive about bringing the "telecaster porn" Garner was seeking. "I didn't even own a Telecaster when I first sat in, but I've since remedied that.” He brings a wealth of talent, creativity and energy to each and every performance.
Andy Jarema is a music educator, composer, and trumpet player from the metro-Detroit area. A Troy native, Andy grew up with Branden and has always wanted to collaborate with him. Stone Soup represented the perfect opportunity for these old friends to share the stage, compose music, and deliver a sound missing from the West Michigan musical landscape. When it comes to what Andy brings to the band, he says it like it is: "I let my trumpet do the talking."
Doug Watkins joined Stone Soup as the bass player in early 2020. He had worked with Nathan, Colin and Mike in one of Nathan’s solo projects and was attracted to Stone Soup’s original songs, arrangements and dynamic rhythms. In December of 2019, Doug sat in with the band for their debut on WYCE’s “Local Spins.” He was a natural fit and nobody looked back. Doug started playing bass when he was a wee lad, influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the Dixie Dregs. Well-known and well-respected in West Michigan musician circles, he has been laying down a solid foundation in area bands since the early 80’s. Over the years, Doug has also logged many hours of studio time, playing on numerous local solo artists’ recordings. When Doug isn’t working on music, he enjoys spending time in his wood shop creating beautiful custom cutting boards and other unique items.
Michael Brown, drummer, found Stone Soup through one of the more creative Craigslist ads he'd ever read. "Use 'soul/country, alt/rebel and country/funky guitars with a beat that can't be ignored' in one ad and you've got my attention," says Brown. He continues, "I couldn't be happier laying it down with Doug and being part of this very exciting band. The chemistry and energy are definitely hard to ignore and a blast to be a part of."
The driving force behind Stone Soup runs deeper than its members and the music they create. Collectively, the group sees that people today are being forced to eat "stone soup" and left to deal with the broken teeth that come from it. Like their fans, they share a strong work ethic and respect for the transformative power of music. You'll hear that in their lyrics and feel it in their grooves. It is the band's sincere hope that they can elevate people one song at a time, and help them forget about the daily grind - even for just a little while.
So please, bring whatever you have to share and come cook with us for an evening!