From the musical imagination of Scott Woodruff emerges a vibrant sonic soundscape, revealed in the newest Stick Figure release, Set in Stone. As with his previous releases, Set in Stone was written, produced and recorded by Woodruff, a self-taught musician. An intuitive and accomplished producer, Woodruff crafts authentic artistry from the foundation of roots-dub reggae. Cavernous grooves, sparkling electronic orchestration and thick rhythms; songs and sounds that have incubated in a studio cabin in the woods near Santa Cruz, CA, where Woodruff found solace excavating a foundation and constructing a studio, all in preparation for his most ambitious recording to date. When completed, a brotherhood of hard-jamming musicians delivers this widescreen soundtrack in concert performances of consciousness-altering emancipation.
The band’s audience of dedicated fans is expanding. The 14-song Set in Stone – three years in the making – enters at Number One on the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Charts. Built on the hypnotic rhythms and the instantly singable choruses that are Stick Figure trademarks, the newest songs navigate a complex emotional spectrum from pensive introspection to joyful celebration. The evolution of the artist most often portrayed as a one-man band has its genesis in Duxbury, Massachusetts. An avid music fan who in high school traded bootleg CDs of his favorite artist’s unreleased demos, Scott began recording a series of albums under the moniker of Stick Figure, well before achieving worldwide acclaim or embracing the demand to play live shows.
From his debut, The Sound of My Addiction, Scott’s handcrafted music connected with a community of avid listeners who discovered him exclusively by word of mouth and social media. Selling tens of thousands of copies of each of his self-produced releases allowed him travel the world in pursuit of meaning and experience. Scott moved to San Diego, CA where his recording career continued to blossom with its DIY ethic intact. As recently as 2012, he was putting up his own posters for Burial Ground at the California Roots Festival. Two years later, Stick Figure was commanding center stage at the massive event.
Preceding Set in Stone, Stick Figure has released five albums, all recorded solo, with Woodruff laying down the tracks one by one. The current live band line-up features Kevin Bong (KBong) on keyboards, Kevin Offitzer on drums and bassist Tommy Suliman, with Scott upfront on guitar and vocals. Cutting a powerful path through the club, concert and ultimately the festival circuit, the band has toured with Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Dirty Heads, Collie Buddz, The Green and Tribal Seeds, and headlined their first national tour in 2014 with many of the shows selling out completely, including the band’s appearance at the iconic Roxy Theater in West Hollywood, CA where tickets were gone two weeks prior to the concert.
Set in Stone features guest artists who have inspired Woodruff. Kyle McDonald from Slightly Stoopid is featured on “Choice is Yours”; Eric Rachmany of Rebelution, a band that invited Stick Figure to open on their Amphitheatre tour, joins on “Mind Block” and Collie Buddz fires it up on “Smokin’ Love.” On the mic for “Smiles on Faces” is KBong. Although Set in Stone’s upbeat anthems are centerpieces, darker textures are revealed on songs like the tale of incarceration, “Sentenced,” and the brooding “Weary Eyes.” Says Woodruff, “Life is a balance between struggle and contentment. That’s a part of this album.” With the release of Set in Stone, Stick Figure is preparing to inaugurate the band’s most ambitious tour ever. “When I was recording those first albums I never saw myself touring or singing live,” Woodruff remembers. “We were offered our first tour in 2012 and I was in a period in my life where I was ready to take on new experiences. The band was formed, we hit the road and it’s been a blast ever since.”
With Woodruff as the genial on-stage figurehead, Stick Figure concerts are gatherings distinguished by extended improvisational interludes, the mind-manifesting hues of a light show, and the much-anticipated entrance of the band’s canine mascot, a rescued Australian Shepherd, Cocoa The Tour Dog. The release of Set in Stone is a culmination of a journey that has seen the producer go from a mysterious figure to becoming a major player in the scene, virtually inventing a melodic subgenre, at a time reggae is reaching new heights of popularity.