Rob Aldridge & The Proponents is a rock n’ roll band based out of Muscle Shoals and Huntsville, Alabama.
Rob Aldridge & The Proponents Combine Weighty Words And Stellar Musicianship On New LP Mind Over Manners
Album out January 21st
Alabama-based rock and rollers Rob Aldridge & the Proponents leaned into a two-part strategy for their upcoming second album Mind Over Manners: speak thoughtful truths and back them up with tasteful grooves. To that end, they dodged the dreaded sophomore-slump by a mile, delivering a twelve-song collection strong enough to break through into the ranks of fellow-Alabaman contemporaries like Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit or Alabama Shakes. The Proponents recorded Mind Over Manners at Studio 144, a smokey clubhouse-like loft space in Green Hill, Alabama. Aldridge produced the album with Jay Burgess of Shoals psych-rock/power-pop band The Pollies. In addition to the Proponents’ current lineup—guitarist Rob Malone (Drive By Truckers), Nick Recio (Great Peacock) on drums, and the late Stone Anderson on bass—Burgess’ bandmate Clint Chandler contributed keyboards on “Mind Over Manners,” and the strings were courtesy of cellist Caleb Elliott and violinist Kimi Samson. Grammy-winner Gary Nichols, formerly of The Steeldrivers, contributed lyrics to the song “Devil on Sunday” and Freddie Hewitt did so on “Poor Taste.”
For a talented band that’s paid its dues, the release of Mind Over Manners should be a triumph. And it is. But it’s a bittersweet triumph. In April of 2021, Proponents bassist Stone Anderson died from an accidental drug overdose. His passing shook the North Alabama music scene and of course the band. For Aldridge, it’s been especially tough. He and Anderson had been tight since they were little kids. Even now, Aldridge will sometimes catch himself reaching for the phone to text Stone a new music idea or just a funny thought. As the finishing touches were being put on Mind Over Manners, Aldridge was haunted by the fact this was the last thing he’d ever work with Stone on.
Anderson’s death at age 27 was truly tragic, but Mind Over Manners is a fitting final statement from a musician destined for bigger stages. “[On] The first record Stone was still learning how to play the bass,” Aldridge says of Anderson, who was also an accomplished singer, guitarist, and drummer. “His talent and potential were all very much there, but he hadn’t quite figured it all out yet. On this album, his bass playing is just fantastic.” For live shows, The Proponents have added Matt Ross, who played with Malone in the popular regional band The Fiddleworms, to play bass. “Matt showed up to the first rehearsal and knew everything already,” Aldridge says, “without even using charts or anything. And he loved Stone. It was an easy decision.” So yeah, a lot of miles, smiles, pain, crescendos, and whispers went into making Mind Over Manners. It’s the kind of album that’s meant to live life to.
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A seasoned singer/songwriter whose musical talents and ability to win over a crowd has been honed from thousands of gigs, Aldridge writes songs that feel personal yet universal. Rob Aldridge and The Proponents (comprised of accomplished guitarist Rob Malone, drummer Nick Recio, and bassist Matt Ross, who stepped in after the tragic death of Stone Anderson from an accidental overdose) have played on small bar stages and large festival stages and everywhere in between. The band delivers well-crafted songs and authentic rock shows every time they plug in and are gearing up to release their latest record and honor Stone’s last work with his band.
NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE JANUARY 2022!
Along with Rob Aldridge’s discography, you can pre-order Mind Over Manners at BandCamp.