THE STONE COYOTES

The Stone Coyotes' hefty sound melds AC/DC's charging power chords with a country troubadour's literate observations.”

— New York Magazine

Powerful and gritty, with just a hint of sweetness and sorrow.”

— Real Detroit Weekly

Poised to be the coolest husband-wife-and-son rock and roll trio ever. Those wary of a hype short on substance should rest assured this family has the chops to back it up.”

— The L. A. Weekly

The Stone Coyotes crank out unpretentious rock that has grime on its fingers and transcendence in its heart.”

— The Nashville Scene

Elmore Leonard, who died today at 87 after recently suffering a stroke, is best remembered for crime novels such as Get Shorty, but there was a part of him that wanted to be a rock star. The protagonist of Leonard’s 1999 book Be Cool, a sequel to Get Shorty, was trying to get into music management. While researching the story, the author hung out with the members of Aerosmith and listened to the likes of Gwen Stefani and Alanis Morissette, according to his publisher. But the band that changed his character’s life turned out be a three-piece called the Stone Coyotes who happened to be playing one night at Los Angeles venue the Troubadour.Leonard, who described the Stone Coyotes as “AC/DC meets Patsy Cline,” incorporated lyrics from their actual album Church of the Falling Rain into Be Cool. He even asked the group to write the song “Odessa” for his character Linda Moon, who came from Texas. The band appeared with him on the book’s promotional tour, including a stop at New York City music venue Mercury Lounge. When Be Cool first went on sale, it came with a CD that featured the Stone Coyotes’ songs.The Stone Coyotes now live in western Massachusetts. In a Facebook post earlier today, they announced that they’ll “fly our flag at half mast” for Leonard. “He was the real thing and above all a straight shooter,” they wrote. “May we all rock so well into our golden years.” The Stone Coyotes had never played in Texas when Leonard asked them to write “Odessa,” but they now visit often. As lead singer and guitarist Barbara Keith recalled to the Springfield, Massachussetts Republican, “We told him, ‘Now we’re living out your book.'” Around the time Be Cool came out, Leonard told the New York Times he’d like to be a rock star for roughly 48 hours. “I’d want to do two concerts,” he said. “I can’t sing, so I’d be [Aerosmith guitarist] Joe Perry. What fascinates me is the crowd reaction.” ” - Marc Hogan

— Spin

Big hit of last month’s issue was the para in my column about Barbara Keith, writer and original recorder of Detroit Or Buffalo, which brought me a slew of thanks from people who checked her out on YouTube. Fortuitously, or part of the great scheme of things, depending how you look at it, I forwarded a copy to Keith just as the trio in which she sings and plays electric guitar, backed by her husband Doug Tibbles on drums and stepson John Tibbles on bass, were releasing their eleventh album. Keith’s first outing was in 1968, with pop-psychedelic mop tops Kangaroo on MGM. She then cut two folk country albums, for Verve in 1969 and Reprise in 1972, both, rather confusingly, self-titled, but, as I mentioned last month, she returned Reprise’s advance, married Tibbles, whom she’d met in the studio, and quit the music business. However, the music business didn’t quit her, songs from the 1972 album, now a high dollar collectible with a cult following, were covered by Delaney & Bonnie, Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Melanie Safka and others. These are not names you’d free-associate with her current incarnation, of which Elmore Leonard said “Think AC/DC meets Patsy Cline. The beauty of the straightahead rock & roll of The Stone Coyotes (a reference to Navajo mythology?), is the purity of the aesthetic. Keith and the Tibbles have zero interest in attracting label interest—been there, done that. The Tibbles are a great rhythm section, John’s bass lines are killer, and as a guitarist, Keith rocks harder than kids a third her age, but what makes the group truly exception is Keith’s songwriting. Her mastery of her craft makes most people who set themselves up as songwriters sound like fumbling amateurs.” - John Conquest

— 3rd Coast Music, Austin, TX

Barbara Keith... has one particular talent that I wish were rather more common among people who send me their CDs. Many years ago. When I was working with Fairport Convention, the group cut a parody of The Sailor’s Alphabet (“A is for Anchor,” etc) which ended “Z is for zollocks, it’s wrong but it’s rhymey.” If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a word in a song that was obviously only there because it was rhymey, I could start my own country, and that includes contributions from well known and respected songwriters. When Barbara Keith writes a song, whether during her early 70s folksinger career (Detroit Or Buffalo, The Bramble And The Rose, Free The People) or any of those, some co-written with her husband/drummer Doug Tibbles, on the eleven albums she, Doug and her stepson John Tibbles have made since they reinvented themselves as The Stone Coyotes, you feel, in fact you know, that every single word is there for a reason, to express, with steely precision, exactly what Keith wants to say. There’s no fat or self-indulgence in a Barbara Keith song. Plus she can outcrush guitarists half her age.” - John Conquest

— 3rd Coast Music, Austin, TX

 Barbara Keith started singing and playing her songs in the 1960s at Cafe Wha? in New York City’s Greenwich Village (the famous club that helped along such performers as Dylan, Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, Joan Rivers and countless others) and a strong folk music heart still beats within her band The Stone Coyotes — an electrified, armor-plated, guitar-wielding warrior kind of folk music heart.Open up the new CD, “Rock Another Day,” and there the trio stands, tough behind dark sunglasses in a night landscape, looking a little bit like The Terminator. “We’ll be back,” they seem to say, and since it’s been a longer wait than usual (two years between albums instead of one), Stone Coyotes fans are glad it’s finally time for their return.The lineup and its power remain the same: Keith on very electric guitar and vocals, her husband, Doug Tibbles, on blunt drums and stepson John Tibbles on bass. Doug plays like Charlie Watts for the cyborg age, every snare hit a pummeling whomp; sometimes John pedals on one note, à la AC/DC, allowing Keith to achieve the most bang for her power-chord buck.The 11 songs inhabit an apocalyptic world, starting with battle cries and walls coming down on the lead-off track, “The Fall of Babylon.” The steady Stonesy groove of “Peace In the Valley” adds a sinister edge to the sadness in the lyrics: “I don’t believe what they say on the radio / “peace in the valley”? / I don’t think so.”“Death and I have a nodding acquaintance,” Keith sings at the beginning of “A Ghost of a Chance.” It’s a good example of how finessed her singing has become, with little flits and cracks and a playful attack with the sung/spoken lines.The title track stomps along like a hard-rock, stadium-ready anthem, but the lyrics aren’t partying, they’re wrestling with the void: “The stars that burn above me / I call from far away / “Anybody up there love me? / Let me rock another day.”” - Ken Maiuri

— The Hampshire Gazette

I slip the disc into the car CD player and crank up the volume. The song starts with a simple beating drum, then is joined by a buzzing guitar that is like a train in the distance — getting louder and louder until it builds to a roar. A voice that’s soft, yet full of sharp edges, begins to sing.“Who's that singing? I want to know/Sounded like a thousand years ago/oh yeah oh/It’s Sally in her hand me down clothes.”There’s a sense of foreboding in the song, punctuated by that chugging guitar riff. I turn it up and the car windows start to shake slightly. Greenfield’s first family of rock, The Stone Coyotes, are back.The song is called “Sally in the Doorway,” and it is the title track of the Stone Coyotes new CD. It is the band’s 14th release and the group’s first since “Rock Another Day” from 2014.“Sally in The Doorway” is the band’s first studio release since they added a new Coyote, guitarist Doug Tibbles Jr., who has now joined the group that includes his father Doug Sr. on drums, brother John on lead guitar, and bass and stepmom Barbara Keith on vocals, guitar and keyboards.The Stone Coyotes have been working as a trio since forming in the late 1980s, but they all agree that Doug Jr. adds a new dimension to their sound. “A new guitar voice gives the band more depth,” said Keith. “And now that John spends most of the year in California — where Doug Jr. lives too — we have two Coyotes playing together in L.A. and two Coyotes holding the fort in Massachusetts. When we all get together, it blends very well.”“Sally in the Doorway” features 14 tracks (14 tunes for the 14th album), and is a mix of full-out rockers with some country flavored ballads that include four cover tunes.On this disc, the Coyotes have managed to move forward without losing sight of who they are and what they do best — play honest, straight-ahead, no-frills rock music. If you ever find yourself wondering where all the rock bands have gone, look no further than The Stone Coyotes.On the new CD, the band continues to make the kind of rock music that when played loud, can makes windows rattle. With an extra guitarist in the mix, the sound is fiercer than ever, and this disc is packed with the kind of solos that will have guitar rock fans taking notice.But unlike other hard rock bands, the Coyotes have another side to their music thanks in part to the gifted songwriter Barbara Keith, who wrote some of these songs with Doug Tibbles. She is a talented lyricist whose songs have been covered by artists like Barbara Streisand, Hank Snow and Lowell George.Keith writes songs full of memorable lines and characters and is the type of songwriter who obviously chooses every word with care. While she can write songs like “Rhythm Guitar,” where she celebrates the joys of rocking out, she can also write beautiful and melodic ballads, as well.On the CD there are two quieter tracks that stand out: the acoustic “Ballad of the Boonville Bridge” (about ‘a boy with the poison kiss’ who may be responsible for the death of the woman who loved him) and the disc’s closer, “It Moves You Again,” where Keith plays keyboards and sings lines like, “Every now and then/A song from long ago/comes on the radio/And it moves you again.”Keith’s voice beautifully captures the feelings of loss and longing that echoes in the song. The band also recorded a poignant cover of Bob Dylan’s “Most of the Time.”That brings us to the cover songs on this disc. In addition to the Dylan song, the band goes full-throttle and blows the roof off on the AC/DC song, “Up to My Neck in You.” They also do justice to the Stones’ “One Hit to the Body,” and serve up their version of “Burning Down One Side,” a rather obscure song co-written by Robert Plant, which he recorded on his 1982 debut solo album, “Pictures at Eleven.”“The four covers came about by request from a film company in California, which will be running an online ad campaign for an upcoming movie,” said Keith when asked how the band happened to choose these particular songs. “They invited us and some other artists to pick from a list of songs they had compiled. Exclusive Stone Coyotes versions of these four covers — and two originals — will be part of the campaign. We enjoyed the project so much we decided to add these to our album.”“Sally in the Doorway” is an excellent addition to the Coyotes extensive, impressive catalog. You can purchase the new CD at the show, online at the band’s website, or at online outlets like ITunes ” - Sheryl Hunter

— The Recorder