Carleton Stone’s star on the rise

Charismatic and soulful, Cape Breton’s Carleton Stone is a hard-working man. Fresh off a songwriting trip to Nashville where he connected with fellow Caper Gordie Sampson, Stone continues playing throughout the Maritimes in support of his self-titled album, released last year.

Carleton Stone will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street, on Sunday evening.

Stone initially cut his teeth throughout clubs in the Maritimes while promoting his independently released 2009 record. That record earned him an East Coast Music Award nomination in addition to two Music Nova Scotia Award nominations while his latest record earned him another East Coast Music Award nomination.

Clearly, Stone’s pop-infused stock is on the rise.

Asked about his recent pilgrimage to Nashville, Stone tells the Times & Transcript that he traveled expressly for the purpose of writing with Sampson. Given Sampson’s knack for penning hits for Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill, Stone couldn’t have asked for a better mentor to help his efforts to break into the potentially lucrative world of writing songs for others.

“I knew Gordie prior to heading to Nashville. The music community in Cape Breton is pretty close knit in that respect,” Stone says. “There has been so much that I have learned from him, especially when it comes to writing songs to be pitched to country music artists. Gordie has a lot of experience in that specific field and has a great sense for what will work for others.

“I enjoy writing songs as much as I like playing shows and traveling so I feel it is a good time to get my feet wet in that world.”

Though Stone has a voice that could capably stand on its own, he worked with Hawksley Workman, a critically acclaimed producer and musician in his own right, on last year’s record. When the subject of Workman comes up, Stone says that he was a fan before they had even entered the studio together. A combination of Workman’s production resume and the knowledge and experience he could bring to the record were big drawing factors for Stone.

“Hawksley was just so established with what he does as a producer as well as a performer. I think my record was the 20th one that he has produced so that sheer knowledge and experience he could bring to the table was amazing.”

Just last month, Stone was in Metro Moncton as a part of the 2012 East Coast Music Awards. He performed a number of showcases over the course of the weekend and ended up making some contacts that he hopes to leverage in the not too distant future.

“This was the third time I have been a part of the ECMAs however it was the first time that I had all the key members of my team in place to help explore opportunities in international markets,” Stone says. “It was interesting to approach the weekend as being export ready in terms of looking at branching out to other territories. I think that looking internationally is the next logical step in my career.

“Ultimately, the ECMA’s are all about building relationships and staying in touch with people. This past East Coast Music Week was probably one of the most productive weekends I’ve had so far in relation to past ECMAs. Moncton did a bang-up job keeping me busy.”

 Article published in May 11, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript