Alex aka Mungo likes to consider himself the musical director of the band. He’s not sure if his band mates agree, but he tends (without too much backlash but a lot of interruptions from Hayley) to call the shots at rehearsals.
Alex grew up in Boston, Lincolnshire and learned piano and trombone. His musical tastes developed in long car journeys with his dad who would play cassettes (remember those?) of The Eagles, Dire Straits, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley. He did a music degree in Essex, whereupon a chance meeting with our esteemed bass player, Tim, would change the course of musical history forever...
Years later, bored of his teaching life, he decided to play trombone on cruise ships during which time he met his lovely wife Michelle, with whom he settled in Dorset and they now have two beautiful children.
A multi-instrumentalist, but technologically dim-witted, Alex loves to surround himself with great friends with the know-how and truly loves being a member of Stone Groove - the hardest working band in the south.
I seriously doubt anyone will read this blog post so it’s really just for self-aggrandisement! I love my basses and rig so I’m going to dedicate this post to them in all their maple, alder, rosewood, walnut, mahogany, steel, nickel, plastic, circuit board and neodymium glory.
I own five bass guitars. A lot of people tease me about that (my wife and parents in particular) but compared to most guitarists I know it’s not that many. One of my basses was bought from a guy near Liverpool who owns almost forty! This is what I’ve got:
Fender (USA) Marcus Miller 5-string Jazz 2002
Fender (USA) Select Series 4-string Jazz 2014
Fender (USA) Precision FSR 58
Musicman Stingray Fretless 4-string 1999
I like having a few basses to choose from because it makes me feel like a real man. Ha ha, just kidding! I tend to play one for a month or two then freshen my playing up by switching to another. I’m definitely a jazz man as I love the sound of the dual pick ups and narrower neck (the Ibanez has an incredibly fast neck too by the way).
For slap you can’t beat the Marcus Miller Jazz with the scooped EQ – it sounds like so many of the classic recordings that we bassists grew up listening to! Plenty of tunes in the Stone Groove set call for the fifth (low B) string so it’s good to have that too.
I use an Aguilar rig which I absolutely love. The sound is as clean as you can get and the head and cabs are incredibly light. The head is a Tonehammer 500 which gives 500 watts of power in a 1.8kg package (consider my previous head was 600 watts in a 12.5kg package and you’ll understand why my arms are so long). The cabs are SL112 (1 x 12in) and, again, are super light. I use two of them unless the venue is very compact.
Is anyone still reading this? I doubt it! So how about strings? Well my favourites are Dunlop Super Bright Nickels and D'Addario XL ProSteels - both handle the funk really nicely.
From Tim (Big T)……with love x
Our lead singer, diva in residence and chief bigger up of crowds is the selfie and social media obsessed Hayley Ostler!
Hayley started singing at the age of 2 and competed nationally in both singing and dancing competitions winning 11 gold medals (blimey, well done!). A jazz fan by choice, Hayley loves Amy Winehouse and postmodern jukebox style music but she has plenty of experience singing rock, soul and other genres.
At the end of virtually every Stone Groove gig you can find a group of people hanging around the stage wanting to tell Hayley what a good voice she has. We try to keep her ego on the down low….and fail, but then any decent lead singer needs to have a bit of an ego and swagger or they'd be rubbish on stage!
Hayley has sung in many different venues around the world and has bumped into a few musical celebrities along the way who have told her to pursue her dream. In fact she once told Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues that she had no idea who the Moody Blues were when he paid her a compliment. Oops!
Above all Hayley wants an audience to enjoy their night and she will do her utmost to ensure this happens. She is very keen on audience participation and will have you singing and dancing until your face hurts from smiling!
Hayley is the heart and soul of Stone Groove and we love having her as part of our group.
Big it up for Dan 'The Man' Stedman. Well, he calls himself 'The Man' but we haven't received any proof yet....other than his two children of course. In fact, Dan recently welcomed his second child so he's been a bit quiet lately. Hopefully he's managed to squeeze in a bit of time on the kit if only to get away from the smells and sounds of newborn baby.
Dan has been drumming for around 30 years and loves funk and soul. His favourite groups are Incognito (I completely agree with that one), Brother Strut and Nils Landgren Funk Unit. His number one track is Incognito's Always There which you can see/hear below courtesy of YouTube. Dan's idols are Frankie Tontoh and Virgil Donati.
Over the years Dan has got more involved with sound engineering and recording. He's our guru when it comes to both (along with Andy V) and controls the awesome 6.8kw sound rig we use to smash our funk out!
In a nutshell, Dan is a very talented (and awesome) guy and we're lucky to have him onboard. There you go Dan, now fork over that £20....