A newer addition to the list is rock quintet, Stone Horse, who host a special afternoon CD release show at Winston’s on Aug. 27 for their sophomore album, “Nobody Rides For Free.” Formed in 2009, the band is built around two of the school’s former students, singer Danielle Spade and guitarist Carlos Rodriguez with Dave Steinman on drums, Arthur Nobilette on guitar and new addition Jeffrey Bloom, also a former La Jolla High student, on bass, playing original music in the classic rock tradition.
For Rodriguez, it’s all the culmination of a lifelong dream of making it in the music business. “I’ve been playing since I was 14, that’s 44 years,” Rodriguez recalled. “I’m not even sure if people get “signed” anymore, but I think we’ve put together something really good, so we’re giving it our best shot to take things to the next level.”
Originally a drummer, he caught the guitar bug the same way millions of others did, via television. “Once I saw the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show,’ it was all over,” he laughed. He was soon playing teen parties of the early ’70s in the La Jolla area.
Much of the music he played then is still a focus of his set list today. While Stone Horse is known for their originals, they also play choice cover tunes by the likes of The Allman Brothers and Free. “In my playing, I’m all about Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor of the Stones,” Rodgriguez said, “so we do some of their tunes as well.”
The band’s previous effort, “Grit” (2014), was well received, scoring a San Diego Music Awards nomination for “Best Rock Album” the following year, but Rodriguez considers “Nobody Rides For Free,” to be superior in every way. Recorded at Big Fish Studios, which has had people like Burt Bacharach, Switchfoot and Anouschka Shankar in it’s workspace, Rodriguez is thrilled with the way the album sounds.
“The last album was really good, but there are two reasons why the new one is just better. First the production is fantastic, the whole album sounds great, especially considering we have so many different sounds in there, from Southern rock to ska. And second, we have more voices in the mix when it comes to songwriting, so it feels like more of a band effort.” The album’s first single, “Look What I’ve Done,” is being promoted via a video filmed at Winston’s.
The band is hoping to tour, but Rodriguez is realistic about it. “We definitely plan to, but we all have day jobs,” he said. “So we have to work around that. We probably will have a few long weekend-type things over the next year.”
He’s aware that touring is harder than ever, but is looking forward to a little road work and bringing his band’s music to the masses. “Playing live is my favorite thing,” he said. “I love seeing the reactions from people when we play one of our originals and I love the support of the local community,” Rodriguez remarked. With four decades of experience under his belt, happy just to be making music.
“I like the possibilities of the band going into the future,” he said good-naturedly. “It gives me a chance to live out my adolescent fantasies.”
Stone Horse: 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 at Winston’s, 1921 Bacon St. 21 and up. www.winstonsob.com.