Stone Poets Seek To Bridge The Great Divide In Our World

The B.C. roots trio try to spread love and combat hate, one listener at a time.

Stone Poets find common ground in The Great Divide that separates us with their new single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Factions on the left, factions on the right… sometimes it seems as if the only thing we as a people can agree on anymore is to disagree. Loudly. B.C. roots trio Stone Poets see the problem, but refuse to be cowed by it. Lifting their voices in harmony, Cherelle Jardine, Scott Jackson and Marc Gladstone makes a soft-spoken yet impassioned plea for lowering the cultural temperature on The Great Divide, the latest single from their LP Human.

“Why oh why, can’t we see eye to eye?” the yearning lyric implores, surveying a sad landscape in which hurtful words fly out like bullets from behind walls of self-protection that “block out the sun.” All the while, the gentle flow of the chords and melody points our way toward a paradise where none of this has to be: “I know a place where there ain’t no sides / It’s right in the middle of the great divide.”

Photo by Keith Clark.

“Humans are becoming increasingly divided into opposing groups,” the band observe. “These divisions are becoming more and more entrenched in society. It’s very disheartening.” That awareness, they say, determined the thrust of not just the song, but the entire new album: “We know how powerful music is, and we felt compelled to write songs that would bring people together, spread peace and love, unite hearts and combat hate, one listener at a time.”

It’s a pretty tall order of course, but in trying to fill it, the band is stepping into a sturdy tradition. While they say their ultimate artistic goal is to transcend categorization, you can trace a direct line from a song like The Great Divide back to classic idealistic protest folk like the Peter, Paul and Mary songbook and One Tin Soldier. Those echoes of the past reverberate in every aspect of the new single, from the lyrical point of view to the way the trio’s voices mesh so gorgeously on the choruses.

Stone Poets originally traveled to Nashville to co-write The Great Divide with expat Canadian hitmakers Daryl and LeeAnn Burgess. Though LeeAnn has since passed away, she got to hear the finished track, and gave her blessing to its production quality, performances and vocal arrangements. Need any more explanation why this crew is newly fixated on how much in life is really worth fighting over?

Human numbers a hefty 17 such songs of “hope, love and humanity,” ranging from pop tunes and soulful ballads to an instrumental piano piece by Gladstone, and Jackson’s spoken-word take on William Blake’s A Poison Tree. Also included is the previous single Gleam and Beam, which marvels at the capacity for emotional intelligence a mother’s adoring gaze unlocks in a newborn.

Photo by Keith Clark.

The album was co-produced by longtime collaborator Sheldon Zaharko and recorded at Zed Productions, HippoSonic Studios, Monarch Studios and Grassy Knoll Studio. Additional instrumentation was supplied by Vancouver studio aces and firm friends of the band Jerry Wong, Nick Haggar, Liam MacDonald, Jeremy Holmes, Jordan Aranas, Geeta Das and Joe Alvaro.

It’s the Poets’ fifth recorded release since coming together in 2011 as a sort of regional supergroup built on the momentum of previous bands and solo projects. They’ve since forged a warm and intimate connection with their fans, through both the quality of their music and the between-songs storytelling they’ve discovered to be a crucial element of their live shows. Everything about Human — from the music to the packaging festooned with images of homo sapien DNA — broadcasts the band’s intention to deepen that relationship and extend it to new converts as well. For everybody’s sake.

“It’s time to get the message out to the world,” the group says. “Peace movements are hard to start, but we believe once they start rolling, there’s no stopping them!”

Watch the video for The Great Divide above, check out the rest of Human below, and roll with Stone Poets on their website and Instagram.


Photo by Keith Clark.