Strolling down memory lane with the Scones

Stina SiegPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Paonia band celebrates the 60sCARBONDALE Strip away the wigs, fictitious names and English accents, and the soul of the Strolling Scones would be the same. Its all about freedom.But those mock personas sure do grab an audiences attention.Tonight, the Scones the faux 1960s band from Paonia will be strolling into the Black Nugget, where they will play a blend of vintage covers and original works, inspired by the decade. It just sort of fell in our laps, said Rick Stockton, a.k.a. guitarist and singer T. Malcolm Oxford. He and his wife, fellow Scone Helen Highwater (Yardley London, on bass and vocals), recounted how the improbable group began on Dec. 31, 2003. Thomas Smith, director of Paonias Blue Sage Center for the Arts, asked if the couples other band, the trio 3 in the Morning, could play an all-night, all-60s New Years gig. Stockton and Highwater brought two female performers on-board, while Smith came up with their names and an explanation of how they came to be. According to his legend, theyre a British group from the 1960s, lost for decades after their touring van plunged into a Colorado lake. After they were found, decades later, scientific advances allowed them to be defrosted and returned to their natural, flower-power state.Well, obviously.After their first appearance, it was clear something about the charade touched a chord in the audience.We thought it was just one night, Highwater said. People just really responded to it and told us how magical it made them feel. You cant beat the beat, Stockton added, and the pair smiled at each other.While neither of them was quite old enough to have fully embraced all that the 60s offered, they still get the appeal. According to Stockton, musically, it was a decade of strong melodies and universal themes. He called it a convergence of influences, from folk to pop to blues. Simply, it was music you could understand and move to. He wants to give his audience nothing less.On a deeper level, the Scones represent that unmistakable, offbeat, optimistic group mentality that was the decade. I think people had the hope that if they just loved enough, they could change the world, said Highwater. I hope thats coming back. We havent felt that in a while.Apparently, theres more than a few fans who agree. Since coming on the scene nearly four years ago, the band has soared in popularity. Theyve played at private parties and music venues throughout Colorado and other states. People from as far away as Japan have purchased their 2004 CD, Well Thawed Out, which features both covers and original tunes. Their songs have been on the radio and used in a television ad, while Stockton himself has been featured in Vintage Guitar magazine.As they prepare their second album, which will contain almost entirely original work, it seems as though their ship or minibus has come in.Just as long as youre having fun, youre doing all right, Highwater said. The secret to the Scones, she explained, is being serious about the music, while never feeling the same about yourself.Stockton knows that, one day, they might put their love beads on the shelf. But for now, he said, everybodys having a great time.Contact Stina Sieg:

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