Ben Rice & RB Stone

Out Of The Box
Middle Mountain Music

Ben Rice & RB StoneBy Greg Johnson

As the old adage goes, what’s more fun than a barrel full of monkeys? Why two barrels of course. And so what can be more fun on an album than a cigar guitar player. Well, you know where this is going . . . two of them make it that much more exciting. That’s what you’re getting here as two of the finest cigar box musicians, Ben Rice and RB Stone, collaborate here. Not just for a number or two as might be expected in an onstage performance or a guest shot on an album, but for the complete project.

Rice and Stone got together at Jimi Bott’s Roseleaf Studio in Portland and laid down eleven original tracks. They simply tear things up right out of the gate with the opener “Hot Rod Mama” and do not let up for a second right through to the final note of the instrumental closer “Lobo Jam.” Touching on numbers that are swampy and rockin’, even a little Delta=fied. Rice and Stone are joined by Dave Melyan on drums and bassist Joseph Barton, with Bott tossing around a bit of tambourine. A variety of cigar box instruments are used between the two guitarists, and Stone offers a touch of harmonica on “Hoodoo Workin’ Overtime.”

Yes sir, this is one fast-paced, raucous display of cigar box heaven. And it’s definitely a lot more fun than a barrel full of monkeys . . . and I am sure a lot cleaner, too.

Total Time: 38:50

Red Hot Mama / Easy Rollin’ Down The Road / Hey Politician / Hoodoo Workin’ Overtime / The Swamp East Boogie / Jesus Needs A Gig / Meet Your Maker / Bad Blood On Mean Whiskey / Crushin’ On The Bartender / Train Of Time / Lobo Jam