by Kelsey Butler
Local band StoneRollers bings a fresh soulful southern rock sound to the Anniston music scene.
Nick Preston, vocals, bass, and keys; John Flannagan, vocals and lead guitar; Justin Ridley, drums; and Jagadeesh Owens, vocals and keys make up the four-piece band.
StoneRollers committed to creating music in 2014. The band’s members grew up in and out of music, and they continue to fuel that passion by playing their originals for music lovers in and around Anniston.
With influences like The Allman Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Susan Tedeschi, and The Black Crowes the StoneRollers found their groove, and are focusing on their original music. Nick says he and his bandmates are creative, ”We like to write. We really like to jam… The way we start our practices on Sundays, we’ll play sometimes for 30 to 45 minutes with just a couple songs, just kinda improvising and going. That’s kind of our strength.”
The band started out playing a mix of originals and covers, but Nick says they just weren’t connecting with the crowd like they wanted. “We almost turned into like a wedding band or something which we didn’t want to do. So, we kinda put some of the covers on the backburner for the season and just tried to really connect.”
That plan to connect through their original music is paying off. The StoneRollers have become a well-known name in the Anniston music scene over the last couple of years playing at Noble Street staples like The Peerless Saloon and Grille. Now, the band is branching out to the Talladega and Gadsden areas. “We wanted to make sure we were ready to do that, and I think we’re pretty much ready.” Nick says he and the rest of the band hopes to move towards Birmingham and Atlanta in the near future.
Vocalist and lead guitarist, John Flannagan, says the addition of Owens on keys and Ridley on drums has taken StoneRollers to the next level. “We really found our identity over the last six months. It’s kind of gotten a lot cooler, and I think a lot of it attributes to them kinda rounding out the rotation. It’s been cool.”
As Nick describes it, music is their hobby, “We’ve got jobs and we’re married so it’s like our golf.” The guys say their wives are “super supportive” of their music and are the StoneRollers “number one fans”. “My wife, I think she’s on the fence,” John jokes. “She’s the loudest one, I promise you,” Nick corrects him with a laugh.
When they’re not jamming with the StoneRollers Nick, Preston’s Plumbing, and John, Flannagan Dental, are both small business owners here in Calhoun County. “We’re blessed to have people that choose our businesses.”
Nick, John, Justin, and Jagadeesh, also play an important role in growing the local music scene. Although humble to admit the StoneRollers’ impact, John says “We’re having fun, and it helps us kind of counter balance running a business, stress, a job, life. You know, you’ve got to have an outlet so [music] is kind of our outlet.”
Check them out and book the StoneRollers for your next event!