Country singer/Southern rocker Ty Stone feels like his wildest fantasies have come true. A few years ago, Stone was flipping burgers at Molly Malones in Los Angeles when he received a call on his cell phone that he didn't recognize.
"I sent the call to voicemail because I was cooking," Stone told The Flint Journal. "Then when I went on my break, I walked outside and called it back. It was this message from Kid Rock. 'I want to talk to you about your music and your future.' I was like, 'Oh my God.'"
His friend/future tour manager had given Kid Rock a copy of Stone's demo at a Detroit Pistons basketball game and he apparently liked it.
"My tour manager, Sam, we'd worked at Guitar Center before," said Stone, who recently swept the Detroit Music Awards. "We were friends. I had just finished a demo in L.A. that I sent to Sam just to sort of check out. His sister worked for the Pistons organization at the time. For his birthday, she got him courtside seats. She said, 'They're great seats, they're where the owner sits and Kid Rock sits down there sometimes.' He just got the bright idea to throw the demo in his pocket just in case, and lo and behold — bam here we are. Isn't that crazy?"
Stone said it's everyone's dream to have their favorite rock star pull them out of their boring day job.
"I literally — literally — was cooking hamburgers on Monday and, like, Saturday night I was shaking hands with Elton John," Stone said. "It was absolutely, just mind-boggling."
Kid Rock has taken Stone under his wing. Originally from Lincoln Park, Stone wrapped up a tour with Uncle Kracker and Frankie Ballard before joining Kid Rock for his arena jaunt.
"That was a great tour," Stone said. "I was very fortunate to be able to be out with Uncle Kracker. He's also on Kid Rock's label (Top Dog), and they're friends. We got to be very good friends. We have a unique situation because we're both the only acts on Kid Rock's label. We're kind of like siblings in a way. It was fun to be out with Kracker. Those guys are so cool.
"It was neat to go around and just play acoustic. It's just a crazy way you just stand out there by yourself. It's daunting at times. You learn how to get a crowd on your side when you do that. You don't have any tricks to rely on."
So far, the highlight of his career has been Kid Rock's 40th birthday celebration at the massive Ford Field.
"It was one of the more incredible experiences of my life," he said. "They had run down the list of people who had played there. It was, like, the Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock and me. It was a cool experience. It was just he and I who played (that day).
"I actually got stuck in an elevator with Cindy Crawford, James Blunt and (retired Detroit Red Wing) Chris Chelios. I have a video of it. It's funny — they're trying to pull the doors open. What a night. We met Chris Hansen (of Dateline NBC's 'To Catch a Predator') that night. It was the most random 50 celebrities at that party. It was really bizarre."
The tours have allowed Stone to support his "song-based" music. He considers himself a writer instead of a mere singer.
"I like writing stories and songs about people and the truth," Stone said. "I think the only real outlet for songs in music in America today is country music. I don't find that I turn on the rock station or the pop station and really get a good story or a song.
“I don't want to give you a three-year-old reference, but 'I Kissed a Girl.' I get it. I listen to Pink and Katy Perry. But I don't feel that that's the music I'm making. I honestly feel that music is coming to a point where everyone's gonna get behind songs. I think that's what people really want to hear. I wouldn't be surprised if we expanded beyond country as well."
Stone is celebrating the digital retailer release of his debut single, "American Style," off his forthcoming album (executive produced by Kid Rock) of the same name that encompasses Stone's strong Southern rock vocal range.
"The single's going to hit radio in May and the album to follow," Stone said. "I'm really, really excited. I had well over 100 songs to pick from for this record. We've been working on it for really five years. We've gone back and forth as far as what direction we wanted to go.
"Like Kid Rock, I dip into all different genres. It was kind of challenging for us to sort of get a cohesive record put together that was representative of what I do, going into all the different genres but having a singular theme.
“I'm really, really proud of every single song on the record. Honestly. There isn't a song on there in my opinion which couldn't be a hit. I hope they get turned on to it for the single and then I hope they get the record. I think people are going to love it."
SOURCE: Michigan Live / MLive.com