The Storys are:
Steve Balsamo – vocals/guitar
Andy Collins – vocals/bass
Rob Thompson – vocals/guitar
Brian Thomas – drums/percussion
Alan Thomas keys/mandolin/banj0
Rosalie Deighton – vocals/guitar (replacing Dai Smith)
(Photograph of Rob Thompson courtesy of Graham Harries)
The Storys are a 6 piece 70s west-coast-influenced country-rock band from South Wales who formed in Spring 2003.
With 4 singer-songwriters all taking lead vocals on different songs, their sound is both fragile and intense, underpinned by a dark lyrical edge. They can turn from tender country-tinged ballad one minute to an as-wide-as-the ocean stomp the next – in the same category as classic harmony vocal bands such as Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young and The Beatles, all of whom also had multiple singers.
Formed with the intention of writing classic songs with great hooks, melodies and lyrics, their beginning was prolific with songs falling out of the sky and behind every song a story containing characters and a soundtrack to their lives. There was a natural vocal chemistry: “Everyone would just sing a part and it would fit naturally. Nothing was worked out. We went for a ‘if it sounds good, it is good’ approach and kept the natural parts even though they might have been musically imperfect”, says Steve.
Their debut album was recorded in an old converted cinema in the heart of the Welsh hills. It took over a year to complete, and was initially released on the band’s own Hall Recordings label. It had some fantastic initial reviews, and somehow got into the hands of Sir Elton John.
A huge music fan, Elton personally called Steve and told him how much he loved the album. He then invited the band to tour with him all over the UK and Europe during the summer of 2005. He invited them again during the summer of 2006 and they played the Liberty Stadium in their hometown of Swansea in the summer of 2008. In between, the band successfully headlined several of their own British tours and supported Katie Melua on some UK and European dates. The Storys ended 2007 supporting Joe Cocker in the UK.
The debut album ‘The Storys’ was picked up by the iconic Warners Korova label in the UK, and Ryko in the US. Soon after, the band headed off for the South By South West festival in Austin, Texas where they played to great reviews. As a result of their appearence, the song ‘Be By Your Side’ was picked up and used in hit US teen drama One Tree Hill. And ‘I Believe In Love’ and ‘Save Me’ were used in hit Brit gangster flick ‘The Bank Job’. Director Roger Donaldson loved the band so much he asked them to appear as themselves in the movie!
The band headed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio complex with renowned producer Jon Kelly. Kelly’s impressive CV includes Kate Bush, The Beautiful South, Paul McCartney, Chris Rea and The Damned. They had what Andy describes as, “the most enjoyable time ever!” making the record, and the fantastic results can be heard on their current album ‘Town Beyond The Trees’.
2008 has been a fantastic year for The Storys. It kicked off with the Dear Mr Fantasy gig at the legendary Roundhouse in London, which saw the band on stage with Joe Walsh, Steve Winwood, Pete Townsend, Bill Wyman and countless other legends playing the songs of the late Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi. This was followed by another successful tour of the UK and a week of shows in Monte Carlo. Unfortunately , at this time Dai Smith decided to leave the band and was replaced by the brilliant and beautiful country/folk singer Rosalie Deighton. From there the band headed to Amsterdam for the biggest gig of their career – supporting Celine Dion. The Storys received a standing ovation from the sell out crowd of 64,000 people at the Amsterdam Arena that night.
A huge show as special guests of Santana in Locarno, Switzerland followed. Then a long drive straight to Germany for a week of gigs with fellow Celts, Runrig. As if this wasn’t enough, they were than asked to open up for Van Morrison on his British shows as well as playing at a terrific festival with Daniel Lanois and Sinead O’Connor in Belgium.The Storys have performed at many festivals in the UK – notably Glastonbury, Guilfest, Bestival and the Maverick Country Music Festival. They have also played at a number of festivals across Europe, including Stars and Moon in Switzerland, Lokerse in Belgium, Tollwood in Germany and Take Root in Holland. The Dutch seem to be taking The Storys to their hearts as their first 2 singles from ‘Town Beyond The Trees’ – ‘Long Hard Road’ and ‘Evangelina’ have been playlisted on many national and regional radio stations. As a result, 2008 ends with the band heading to Holland again to play some radio shows and make their debut at the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam.
With lots of great new songs penned and a new album in the pipeline, The Storys are eagerly looking towards 2009 and the many more adventures that lie ahead.