Life is about taking chances. Fortunately for Ty Stone, those chances have grown into bigger opportunities. The Detroit native is thankful for attending a Detroit Pistons basketball game one time. Just down the row in their court-side seats sat entertainer Kid Rock. Stone’s friend took a copy of his cd to Kid Rock and told him he should give this fellow Detroit rocker a chance.
“It was pretty cool actually as that night he [Kid Rock] was with the manager of the Insane Clown Posse, Mikey. Mikey’s become a very good friend over the years and he just told me the story recently. They got in the limo and put it in the cd player. The very first song he heard was a power ballad and that is what got him hooked to the music. Kid Rock called me up a few days later to set things up,” Stone recounted the story from back in 2006.
Over the years, the two became friends and one evening Kid Rock contacted Ty while he was in town. He asked if he wanted to meet them for dinner, but Stone had a show that night. “It just so happened I had a show of all nights, that night. He said that he wanted to come check me out. We cleared a table out and I was so excited to play for the dude. I’m a huge fan with the Detroit thing and he’s my favorite rock star. We were getting ready to play and he didn’t show up. I was so bummed out. Right beforehand, I saw a voice mail on my phone. It was a message that said “Ty Stone it’s Kid Rock” (singing). I went into the bathroom and there he was. He came on out and saw my show.”
That night would soon turn into a chance meeting with famous rock producer Rick Rubin. “Kid Rock asked if I had plans and if I would like to go eat dinner with him and Rick Rubin. I was like, ‘yeah, yes I do. I would love to have him produce one of my records one day.’ Kid then said that he wanted to see if he wanted to produce mine first. We went and had fun.”
A couple days later a phone call that Ty wanted to hear came true. Kid Rock called and offered a deal on his record label.
These days Kid Rock is taking a chance by inviting Ty Stone out on the road to open up for his Born Free tour with Jamey Johnson. At their recent stop in Louisville, Kentucky, the crowd was positively responsive to Stone’s performance.
After each performance, Ty goes out amongst the crowd and meets the fans. Backstage Friday night, he sat on a couch relaxed, telling stories throughout the tour. One thing that sticks out is the fact that unlike most headliners, Kid Rock is very active in promoting others as much as himself.
Ty Stone recalls how Kid Rock has become a mentor for him. “Every night I will go in his dressing room either before or after my performance. He has a tv brought in and he watches the show. He will tell me what to try, what works best, etc.. He’s a great mentor. It’s amazing – your favorite rock star takes you under their wing and tells everyone about you. It’s just dream come true.”
The road isn’t the easiest, especially during the winter months. In fact, the tour was almost put on hault due to the midwest snowstorm. Ty Stone missed his first show ever in Little Rock. Stone and his crew were stuck on the interstate for several hours. Rather than sit there complaining, they took the opportunity to take the music to the people. They climbed out of their van and started to play tunes for passengers in other vehicles. What those people may not have known, this group of individuals is on one of the hottest tours traveling. No matter the stage, he was born to play music.
Ty Stone is a rambling man, in the sense of having a gypsy soul. He moved from Detroit to Los Angeles before eventually settling in the heart of music, Nashville. His dad’s family originally came from the hills of Kentucky in the community of Dorton in Pike County.
“Everybody in that little town was coal mining and then they started running moonshine up to Detroit up to the factories. I guess they got stalled and started working up there. I actually started working in the same mill and later got laid off. I made the move to Los Angeles to get this music out of this system.”
Ty Stone would go on to write a tune about those adventures called “Everett Belcher” and later played it for Hank Williams, Jr. around the campfire late one night. After he got done singing it, Hank turned to him and said, “Let me tell you something about that song boy. That song was right on!”
Growing up in Detroit, Stone would learn to play guitar, write tunes, and perform. He was influenced by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cooper, Tom Petty, good old American rock and roll. Hard work has paid off as he just released his album “American Style.” His first single to be released is the title track and it is set to be out later this spring.
After the Born Free tour, Stone will continue touring, this time with Uncle Kracker. Before that, he will be joining the Kid Rock Cruise. The budding artist is learning tricks of the trade while out on the road and how to be not only an entertainer, but an ambassador of the rock city of Detroit.
Each step of the way, Ty Stone is learning that it is sometimes worth taking a chance to succeed in life.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.