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The Stone Foxes know a thing or two about the trials of the open road.

click to enlarge A little Black Keys, a little Zeppelin: meet the Stone Foxes
  • A little Black Keys, a little Zeppelin: meet the Stone Foxes

What do you do when you land in a bad situation? If you’re the Stone Foxes, you find the bright spot. The San Francisco garage-trippers recently found themselves literally stuck in a jam during an attempt to shave time off the drive to Aspen, Colo.

“We were in Crested Butte, and we were running late,” says band member Aaron Mort. “Google Maps recommended we take some road to save an hour and a half. The road turned out to be a dirt road, which then turned into a very bumpy, narrow dirt road with cliffs on one side.

“We thought we could do it if we just drove really slowly. Then we got to the bottom of a big hill and a river had washed out the road. We had to drive into the river to turn around and you don’t really want to have to do that with a van full of expensive equipment!” Laughing as he tells the story of how he and his bandmates nearly became a tragic footnote of tire fires and trail mix, Mort admits, “It was actually quite scary.”

They ended up picking up a hitchhiker who directed them to the correct road.

Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to change your plans, something the band knows a lot about. Formed in college by Mort and brothers Spence and Shannon Koehler, the Stone Foxes gets a kick out of taking a Dylan-and-The-Band-like approach to songwriting.

“In The Band, they switched instruments and had a lot of songwriters. Whoever sounded better singing something or playing something — they did it for the overall good of the band,” Mort says.

“During the set [drummer] Shannon will come out from behind the kit and play harmonica. I play drums on a song, I play guitar. Spence is the only guy who never switches — he’s our lead guitarist — but we finally wrote a song where he’s going to play bass.”

Songs from their second album, Bears & Bulls, hint of Led Zeppelin, while a cover of the Willie Dixon-written, Stones-popularized “Little Red Rooster” demonstrates their knowledge of blues history. With recent addition Elliott Peltzman holding down the Fender Rhodes and organ, the result is an aural smoothie of classic rock, garage, and blues that would get a Woodstock attendee to exclaim “Far out, man!” n [email protected]

The Stone Foxes play with George Thorogood • Tues, Aug. 9 at 8 pm • Knitting Factory • $26 • All-ages • ticketfly.com • 244-3279

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