Singer/Songwriter Eric Stone
Trop Rock Artist Plays Island Tunes In Caribbean Bars
He doesn't want to be Jimmy Buffett, he just wants to be Eric Stone.
"Sailing life is what I choose
Imported rum is my kind of booze...
"Sailing life is made for me,
I raise my spinnaker and I'm free..
This is Eric Stone, a lifestyle singer/songwriter who could easily be confused with Jimmy Buffett. Except he isn't. In fact, "I don't want to be Jimmy Buffett," he sings in one of his signature songs. "I just want to be me."
But besides the sound and the "location" of his songs (mainly tropical-type subject matters) he has this in common with the most famous of lifestyle lyrics: He can find inspiration for a song just about anywhere.
Stone got one sitting on a boat dock when, prodded by a friend's friend, he used a jellyfish and a manatee that just happen to pass in front of them ("The Manatee and the Jellyfish").
He's also written about getting lost on a friend's dingy in a strange harbor, spending time on other people's sailboats ("Gary's Island" and "Legend of the Lost Soul"), Bamba's legendary Surfside Shack in the BVI and a fictional – we think – tale of falling in love with a Mexican waitress in Cozomel only to have her boyfriend break up the ensuing wedding while waving a gun.
There's a clever one that every single man has faced on more than one occasion: "What do you do with a Saturday night girl on a Sunday morning?"
And then there's "Scuba Joe" about a guy who spends his time "down below" doing another kind of diving.
Eric at the Miami Boat Show. Were these Saturday night girls and if so, what did he do with them on Sunday morning? Photo: www.islanderic.com
"I get song ideas all the time," he said. "The lyrics usually come pretty easy. It's putting the music with it that can be a challenge. I used to write with my guitar, but the guitar will sometimes take you in the wrong direction. Now I just write it down."
Stone has moved from Destin, Florida to the the Virgin Islands, and and plays throughout the area at the famous bars of the BVIs – Myott's at Cane Garden Bay and Foxy's – plus Australia and is as popular at boat shows in the USA, as, well, boats.
He has a magnetic fix on his compass for beach bars and doesn't mind honkey tonks because "all I need is a little beer money." After all, everything is "permanently temporary" anyway.
Stone does a few Buffett covers – "The Coast of Marseilles" sounds just like The Man himself – sprinkled in with some Harry Belafonte and Bob Marley (more so in his shows than on his CDs).
He has nearly a dozen of those CDs – available on his web site, www.islanderic.com – which are as happy to be spinning in a home stereo or car as they are on a sailboat.
You can also check his schedule on his website. PubClub can assure you he is "Somewhere South of Somewhere."