The acclaimed 8 piece soul band Rufus Stone have been performing constantly since their formation back in 1984.

The creation of former Lulu and the Luvvers drummer Henry Wright, some of the very best musicians in the south play with or have played with the band over this period.

Rufus Stone have performed at every kind of venue from the wonderful Royal Albert Hall to city theatres, cruise ships and open air events such as the Round the World Yacht Race and Goodwood Festival of Speed.

On their list of credits are performances and tours with the likes of Edwin Starr, Curtis Mayfield, Ben E King, Jimmy Ruffin and many more of soul music's greats.

Adaptable for all types of events from private parties, weddings and corporate functions, Rufus Stone are guaranteed to make the night so very special.

 

 

 aboutus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

meet

Susie Maycock lead vocals

Susie's performance career started at an early age, taking to the stage at the tender age of three, and it's been difficult to get her off it since! With a passion for all things musical she has an eclectic taste that ranges from Musical Theatre to Blues and Soul. After gaining a degree in Musical Theatre she became resident vocalist for companies such as Thompson Holidays, P&O Cruises and Seabourn.

Singing has taken her all around the world with performances in Macau, Hong Kong, Ibiza and Greece as well as theatres throughout the UK, but 2016 brought her back to the UK to live in Southampton and to join the ranks of Rufus Stone.

"With such a long history as a band and a huge following, singing with Rufus is an exciting opportunity that I'm looking forward to getting stuck into!"

Solly Read bass / vocals

I started getting a little bit musical by learning the violin at junior school, but spent more time trying to play it like a guitar. I got my first real six string...(sorry bit of Bryan Adams coming out there).

My gran bought me my first ever guitar when I was about 10 from a fruit and veg shop that used to sell all kinds of odd things. The first song I learnt was "Lettuce Be" the old Beatles classic, strangely on the Apple record label. I think I have said this before but most kids used their tennis rackets to pretend to play guitar but I just played my guitar and it sounded like a racket.

I played guitar at school a little bit and electric lead in a school production with my "Woolworths Audition Special" and 6 watt amp. I got into my first band aged 16 as so called lead guitarist. I got a bit bored as there was rhythm guitar and piano and I felt a bit of a waste of space. One day a friend loaned me a bass he had made at school and it felt much more in the groove...I think I was a bit of a frustrated drummer.

So bass it became and I then started getting into jam sessions and playing with other people. This carried on for a while until I was asked to play with Terry Dene, an old rock 'n' roll star who was making a comeback. This lasted about a week but the drummer was Henry Wright who I had seen around with the Bob Pearce Blues Band. We got on well and he told me he had always wanted to put a soul band together since moving down from Glasgow. I got a few musicians together and eventually Rufus Stone was born. We had a bit of trouble finding a keyboard player but there was a young lad called Ray Drury, you may remember him; he played Mowgli in the Jungle Book!

Anyway lots of things happened, some great gigs, met some big names, a few changes but the band is still going strong.

A few facts: I have been known to partake in the odd pint or three of cider, or a glass of red, not to mention a dry cracker here and there with a crumb of cheese. I remember a rather embarrassing moment when we went on stage in the dark behind a screen at the Top Rank in Southampton. There were different levels and scaffolding around each board except that my board was missing. I fell about four feet into a hole, with a guitar around my neck and a pint over my head. Then the screen came up, letting the audience see the band having a good laugh and me soaked and with blood running down my leg (I've still got the scar!).

The most exciting request for me has to be a recent stand in gig where we were asked to play 'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep'. Not sure who it was for, just a little chap who lived down the lane I think, anyway we did it!

Gear wise, I have a Musicman Stingray and Trace Elliot head with an old Fender Bassman cab with two 15 inch wolf in sheep's clothing speakers. Still messing around with other amps; an Ampeg rig that I keep knob twiddling to try and get right, a couple of combo amps, and my 5 string Musicman that I can't be bothered to re-work stuff on. My old friendly Fender Precision hides in the cupboard but I'm too sentimental to sell it. That's about it!

Aidy Gill drums

Around the time Rufus Stone was being formed, at the tender age of 9, I was having my first few frustrating attempts at playing the drums in my home town in Yorkshire. Five years later, I formed my first band, playing blues and early rock covers. We managed a total of three gigs but it was at that point I knew playing the drums was what I wanted to do.

I joined original Hull band Lithium Joe at the age of 17 and played with them for 8 years. In that time we toured the UK and Ireland and appeared on a number of radio shows (including with the great John Peel on Radio 1). The band were also chosen to appear on a compilation album with a bunch of artists associated with Hull including, 'The Beautiful South', 'Everything But The Girl' and 'Fine Young Cannibals'.

Since relocating to Southampton in 2001, I have played with a mixture of original and cover bands playing rock, soul, funk, blues and jazz. I have also been involved in tribute bands to the Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, James Taylor and Carole King. More recently, the bulk of my live work has been playing weddings and functions with Jaxstax. My biggest gig so far, which I will probably never quite match, was in 2012 when I was fortunate enough to play in the London Olympics Opening Ceremony along with 999 other drummers - this was a truly unforgettable experience!

In addition to playing live, I decided that being a complete drumming fanatic, the most productive use of my time was to teach others to play the drums. I started teaching in 2004 and I gain an enormous amount of satisfaction from it. More about that here: www.drumaid.co.uk

In terms of musical taste, I grew up on a diet of Rock 'n' Roll, Motown and Soul. Later, my own tastes lead me to Rock, Reggae, Blues, Funk, and Jazz. I also love the music of Brazil, Cuba and West Africa (I think it must be the abundance of percussion instruments!). The common thing about these styles is that they makes you want to move, whether tapping your feet or busting some shapes on the dance floor. And this is why playing with Rufus Stone is so much fun - I get to provide the beats to which everyone else dances!

Keith Loader guitar / vocals

I guess I was a late starter as I picked up my first guitar at the age of 15, it being a Christmas present from my parents. It took a couple of weeks to realise that it needed tuning each time it was played as my dad said they'd already done that in the shop (Becketts, in Gibbs Road - shows how long ago it was!). No internet in those days so I learnt by trial and error and from books, which I recall were next to useless. I can remember a mate of mine showing me how to play 'House of the Rising Sun' and from that moment I was hooked.

I moved on to classical guitar lessons, which I loved, and then spent a couple of years studying rag-time guitar. I then discovered the electric guitar: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy, Free.....why am I in a soul band?

I joined a number of bands in the Southampton area eventually culminating in a 10 year stint with Winchester based 'Ambush' where I met Graham. When our bass player decided he wanted a break I thought it would be a good idea to recruit Solly as a replacement; I guess he was more persuasive than me as both Graham and I joined Rufus Stone in early 1997.

Gear wise in the band I use a Fender Strat Plus Deluxe loaded with Kinman pick-ups, Hermida Audio 'Zendrive' and J. Rockett 'The Dude' overdrive pedals, a Keeley 'Katana' clean boost, and a Visual Sound 'Liquid Chorus/Delay', which all go through my Tone King Sky King amp.

Graham Holt keyboards

I didn't have a great deal of choice in the decision to play a musical instrument; my gran was a piano teacher, my mum an opera singer and my family business was a music shop in Winchester, so it was a fait accompli!

My first instrument at school was a cornet shortly followed by the flugelhorn and then finally settling on the euphonium, which I played in the Hampshire County Youth Bands for a number of years. By this time I was also playing classical piano and going through the grades.

I went through an audition process in 1991 that resulted in me joining a Winchester based rock band called Ambush where I met our legendary guitarist Keith for the first time. Back then I didn't have a car and remember well the day that Keith picked me up for the audition in his gleaming fawn coloured Vauxhall Cavalier 1.6L.

I was 27 when I joined Rufus and quickly had to learn what a Hammond organ looked like - a key requirement in a soul band. With guidance from Henry Wright, the original drummer with Rufus, I picked up a second hand Hammond with a very temperamental and very large Leslie speaker. I can remember spending most of my time either trying to lift it onto my roof rack of my car with the help of willing strangers or repair it on stage. I often spent time in Rochester with the legendary Hammond player James Taylor from JTQ who helped coach me on the very different playing style of the Hammond compared with a piano.

Keen to get the very best Hammond sound I tracked down an original Hammond C3 tone wheel organ with a matching Leslie 122 speaker from a castle in Scotland and picked up a Fender Rhodes to gig with. This plan was very short lived as I soon discovered that due to the size and weight of my kit I needed a removal van and a team of body builders at the end of each gig. The Hammond is now a "feature" in my lounge. I've now settled on a Nord Stage 2.

Mark Wilkinson saxophones / vocals

I guess you could say I come from a fairly musically orientated family; my late father won a grandmother clock by singing Nat King Cole songs in a competition and my eldest sister is an opera singer.

My first public performance was singing a Christmas carol at St Mark's Infant School concert, from there to Ludlow Junior (played recorder) and then plunged into Woolston Comprehensive, which is really where my musical career started. Thanks to a great music teacher (Pete Cool) I ended up learning the bassoon and eventually found myself performing with the Southampton City Youth Orchestra and singing in the choir.

At Sixth Form College the bassoon fell by the wayside as I had the chance to play sax in a youth club band called "Sumovus". It was there that I forged a close friendship with the late, great Bob Pettitt. It's thanks to him that I have a feel for rock'n'roll, R&B, soul and funk licks; until then nobody had shown me how to play a sax.

My musical apprenticeship was served in the social clubs and pubs of the south coast playing in "Ebony" and 1978/9 found me in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark & Norway with "Pancho". A spell with "The Chris Shakespeare Band" came next, closely followed by "Gripp, The Band" (with Dave Mitchell, Spike, Dave Good, the sadly departed Rick & Burnsey etc.) and then "Tramp", with whom I still play a few gigs to this day.

I joined "Rufus Stone" after Henry Wright saw me at The London Arms playing with a scratch band called "Matt Vinyl & The Undercoats".

Instruments/equipment that I now use: (RIP my trusty old Yamaha YTS61 tenor!) Yamaha YAS61 alto, Dukoff D8 clear acrylic mouthpiece, 3.5 Rico Plasticover reed Bauhaus Walstein M2 tenor, Lawton 7 star BBB metal mouthpiece, 3.5 Rico Plasticover reed B & H Lafleur baritone (Low A), Berg Larsen metal mouthpiece, 3.5 Rico Plasticover reed AKG bell clip-mike with either AKG (UHF) or Nady (VHF) wireless outfit.

Dave Desmond trombone

Dave was born in Bitterne Park, Southampton into a musical family where you weren't asked if you wanted to play an instrument, just told to pick one. He first picked up the trombone aged 10 and went on to pass all the grades at school and play in local Southampton City brass bands/orchestras/wind bands. He then joined Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards Band as part of the Regular Army. This took him to London and the chance to mix with the musical community of the Capital and play at all the major state and ceremonial events that go with the itinerary of such a long-serving army band (the Band has been in existence for over 200 years and is the Army's oldest attested military band).

To be a part of the Capital and Nation's tapestry was an amazing experience, one which lasted nearly 24 years, playing at such events and places as the Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle (playing a solo to the Queen and Prince Phillip in an intimate concert in 2009), opening the LIVE8 Concert in Hyde Park in 2005 to his own fanfare composition "Fanfare for Hope", many international tours including USA, Japan, Canada and more, Trooping of the Colour, State Opening of Parliament, Garden Parties, FA Cup Finals, rugby internationals, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Golden Jubilee Concert with Robbie Williams in 2012. Additionally Dave played with the Band on their No. 1 selling classical album "Heroes" and "Pride of the Nation" and was also lead trombone in the Army Big Band.

Privately, Dave has mixed with many great musicians including Brian May, Kathryn Jenkins, Billy Cobham, Dave Gregory, Martha High and has played in and recorded with top UK 'old school' soul/funk band "Speedometer" at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and The Jazz Cafe (Camden Town) and has played and arranged for many other horn sections/brass groups in studio and live work. Dave is also a member and arranger of the brass ensemble for award winning prog-rock band "Big Big Train", and is a member of the Steely Dan tribute band "Steely Scam".

Dave has played in local bands "Big Red", funk/soul band "JaxStax", Charley MaCaulay (horn section arranger) and Jump 'n' Jive band "King Pie".

Jim Potter trumpet

Jim was born in Portsmouth in 1995 and from 6 months old grew up in Gosport. After attending community music classes (at the ripe old age of 2) it was clear that he had an ear for music, although this took a back seat to his main ambition of playing football for Pompey FC!

After picking up a trumpet (aged 7) and learning for 12 years under the guidance of Jock McKenzie, Jim attained a scholarship to study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, there being taught by Alan Thomas, Andy Stone-Fewings and Jon Holland. Whilst at RBC, Jim was a three time runner-up in the Alfred Corfield Trumpet Prize and a winner of the Bernard Brown Brass Ensemble with his quintet, Colmore Brass. Jim's best moments at the Conservatoire (excluding the magnitude of time spent exploring the best pubs/clubs/24 hour off licences Brum had to offer) were his acclaimed solo performance of Casino Royale with the Birmingham Conservatoire Pops Orchestra and his Latin Fiesta project, exploring the best music that South America had to offer.

For his final year at the Conservatoire Jim had the privilege of learning and playing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Both during his studies and upon graduating in July 2017, he has enjoyed playing in pit bands, function bands, brass quintets, brass dectets, orchestras, ska bands, stage shows and his musical endeavours have seen him travel the world. Alongside his freelance life, Jim is also a keen educator and teaches brass both privately and for Hampshire Music Service. However he gets the most enjoyment out of playing as part of a group so is very excited to be a member of Rufus Stone, a band his mum saw when she was at University in Southampton!

Malc Eyers lead vocals

Vocalist Malc Eyers was the lead singer with the band for 34 years and deps for Susie on the odd occasions when she's unavailable.

© Rufus Stone. All rights reserved.