Arc & Stones: A Piece of a Circle

Arc & Stones started off as a duo. During the college days of Dan Pellarin and Ben Cramer at the University of Miami, the two tossed ideas around about starting a band. Just about over a year ago, the duo morphed into a quartet adding bassist Eddy Bayes and drummer Joe Doino. The band's name might be interpreted as a metaphor. Perhaps that of the arch stone structure developed in 2nd millennium BC by the Mesopotamians and then systematized by the Ancient Romans. And since an arch is held in place by the weight of its members, vocalist Dan Pellarin is the keystone at the apex. Dan, however, sees the name as an arc of a circle, with each band member representing the stones completing it.

Their sound is Alternative Blues/Rock, and they like thinking of themselves as old soul meets new sounds. Big, loud, rock choruses are what they like to write. Not surprisingly, bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Sly Stone, and The Rolling Stones have inspired them. But the group who has been instrumental in supporting Arc & Stones is the 70s Rock and Roll band, Kansas. Most of us will remember Kansas for their acoustic hit "Dust in the Wind", a slow philosophical song similar to the biblical passage in Genesis 3:19. However, "Dust in the Wind" was not Kansas' signature style. "Carry on Wayward Son" was more of the progressive sound that attracted audiences.

While Kansas celebrates 40 years in the music business, Arc & Stones have been invited to open for them on tour. Like an encouraging father figure, Kansas has mentored the group, taking them under their wing and critiquing them whenever needed. As a result, Arc & Stones have learned very valuable lessons. In fact, the founding member of Kansas, Phil Ehart, now manages the quartet. The group would like to project that they, too, will be around for the next four decades.

At present, Arc & Stones is carried by the voice of Dan Pellarin and complemented by the instrumentals and vocals of the three "stones" that complete the circle, so to speak. Although the four men are residing in Brooklyn NY, a southern rock vibe comes through at times. Perhaps this is because some of the members are from the south. In their five piece EP, they sing about love, a blinding love with vague reflections. Most of the EP is rocked-out, but the slow melancholic track "Let Me Down" is their "Dust in the Wind". The lyrics are sung in ways that demand attention. Perhaps the song arches back to the name metaphor, suggesting that broken love is building a broken home. And like the complexity of constructing an arch, they too are working hard to build their music.

You can listen to Arc & Stones's self-titled EP on BandCamp.