“Set in Stone” – Stick Figure

Stick Figure

“Set in Stone”

Ruffwood Records

Stick Figure is a Southern California reggae / dub band that has enjoyed great success the last few years touring with the biggest names in American reggae and charting a #1 reggae album, “Burial Ground”. Now they’ve released a brand new LP entitled “Set in Stone” that picks up where the last one leaves off, and does so in fantastic style.

The music for Stick Figure has always been written and produced by Scott Woodruff. Originally from nearby Duxbury, MA, he spent many years as a solo artist. Woodruff eventually put together the live band in 2012 due to the growing popularity of the music. Characterized by an easy tempo and a mellow mood, they have a very chill sound that can be meditative and inspiring.

“Set in Stone” is very cohesive, staying with a pretty constant sound throughout. Relying on the steady one-drop and a hint of dub feel, each song paints from the same palette – finding peace and consciousness in a world gone awry.

The opening track “Fire on the Horizon” does a nice job of setting the pace for the album. A moderate tempo sets the table for a mental vacation wherever you may be. The lyrics echo the main theme throughout the album – finding calm in the storm: ”There’s a little old town and it’s tucked away on an island on the sea; So far away from everything, where time it don’t mean a thing; And time moves slow and certainly we got no place to be; Where there’s love there is life, there is a hope there’s a dream, This is the place for you and me…”

Another great track is “Choice is Yours”, featuring members of California reggae icons Slightly Stoopid. It’s got a great vibe with a little bit of reverb and flange going on, adding to a hint of an underwater feel. The lyrics are in line with the albums theme of self-empowerment and rising above the difficulties:  “Movin up in a style and in a fashion I’m supposed; Open a another door any time another door is closed; Move into the light from in the dark now exposed, when I’m reachin into sky and spread it out to let it grow; Never do a thing just cause somebody’s sayin so…”

There are many other great tracks on “Set in Stone”, such as the easy-going “In This Love”, “Smokin’ Love” featuring Collie Buddz, and the upbeat jam “Out the Door”. It’s a real steady album that doesn’t deviate much from the magic formula Stick Figure has been working with for years. It makes great driving music or working music, as it keeps you moving without intruding too hard into your mental space.  It’s great to hear artists like this that just get better and stay true to their roots as they find more and more success.

Tom Matthew, Two Ton Music