photo by David Turner

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