By Scott Roos, Herald contributor
To bandmates Emma Jean Anderson, Ian Dickson and Jordy Balicki, local Prince Albert act Rymestone’s inception more or less officially took place in early January of 2018. In reality, though, the true inspiration of their creative process began in the summer of 2007 when a young treeplanter stepped into the bugs, bushes and brambles of the vast British Columbia mountainside. Vocalist/guitarist Emma Jean had never tried singing before but needed something to pass the time in the solitude of her surroundings.
“Being in the forest, being rained on, hard job, everything sucks, you start to get down to the nitty gritty (of who you are) and one of the things that helped me in that experience was singing soul classics. I (also) had a beat up guitar that when I went back to camp I would pound it out on the thing. I just needed that release from my day to day.” recounts Emma.
Eventually, in these moments of deep seclusion and intense reflection, Emma started to develop a uniquely personal approach to her songwriting that would serve as her stylistic muse in Rymestone.
“All of my writing comes from a stream of consciousness type of deal so it’s all going to be reflective of what’s going on in my life and sometimes it’s gonna be things that I’ll sit down and jam out a song and review the lyrics and I’ll be like ‘Oh crap that’s happening to me right now’,” explains Emma.
As a result, Rymestone’s songs are organically in the moment. They are metaphorically “right now” and it’s something that the band’s rhythm section has learned to roll with when they work on new songs together.
“(When we are working on new songs) we just play whatever she’s throwing out there” explains Rymestone drummer Ian Dickson, “It’s really easy for us to follow what’s she’s doing. (We) kind of morph around the sound that she’s got (because) it’s all based on emotion.”
“In a three piece there’s so much air and there’s so much space and you have to fill that space otherwise it sounds empty and it doesn’t sound right.” adds bass player Jordy Balicki.
This is Jordy’s first stint as a bass player (he’s played guitar in other groups) thus his more melodic guitarist approach to the instrument balances Emma Jean’s more straight ahead chording style and adds to the overall vibe of the band.
Musically, then, Rymestone grooves along to the nuances of punk, post-grunge and even a touch of indie folk. They are a very tight outfit. The music is great to tap your foot, bob your head or hit the dance floor to. Case in point, the chord progression of their single “Sorta Mellow” jives along like an eccentric take on Little Eva’s smash hit “Loco-motion” and there’s plenty of other songs in the band’s catalogue to match.
Rymestone will be performing at the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Art’s first ever cabaret on Saturday, March 2nd. The cabaret itself is a quirky concept that will have the band and the audience share the stage. There will be couches, tables of various shapes and sizes, two open bars and a dance floor. Rymestone will be turned around and positioned on the apron using the seats of the Rawlinson as a backdrop. It’s all very exciting for a somewhat new and local band to be part of what should be, by all accounts, an amazing night. It’s a worthwhile and gutsy experiment formulated by the Rawlinson that this writer hopes becomes a traditional part of each of their concert seasons.