The Stone Foxes play a hometown show at the Independent this week. (Courtesy Staci DeGagnelo)

SF’s Stone Foxes revel in creating community

San Francisco’s beloved Stone Foxes are finally headed home on the heels of Gigantour, a 43-date national tour that began in September 2016.

The next stop is a hometown show at The Independent on Friday, almost a year to the day after the band’s last concert there. The night was a gift to audience members in a collective state of shock after the presidential election and needing some magic to pull them out of their gloom.

The blues-country-Americana-psychedelic rockers know how to bring a room to life, says lead vocalist-drummer Shannon Koehler: “I’ve always felt, and our band has always felt, that there is that initial disconnect between people who are onstage and people who are watching. Our job is to knock that wall down.”

The Stone Foxes’ fans are always all in, adds Koehler, who says, “It’s important to create community at every show, and it’s important for us to leave people with a feeling of empowerment to go and help their community.”

To that end, all profits from merchandise sales at Friday’s show will benefit North Bay Fire Relief, and non-perishable food items may be donated at the merch booth for the band’s Goodnight Moon Project.

The sentiments are especially welcome as the holiday season begins and the question looms: Will there be pumpkin pie and Martinelli’s cider at this year’s gig, like there was last year? Koehler’s response: “There will be treats for all in different shapes and sizes throughout the evening.”

The Stone Foxes’ new EP “Visalia” is a five-track appetizer for more new music to come from Koehler and bandmates Vince Dewald, Ben Andrews, Brian Bakalian and Elliott Peltzman, who reinvigorated their writing process during a getaway in the central California town.

“There were no distractions. We were all camping out in tents on our buddy’s lawn; the whole house was ours to record in. That was the spark for us, those sessions in Visalia,” says Koehler, who adds that the EP was finished in Emeryville with “genius” producer Jay Pellicci.

The first song on the EP, “If I Die Tonight,” he says, was recorded on the porch of the band’s buddy Cody Tarbell’s house, whose pals came over and sang on the track.

That experience, and performing with the Oakland School for the Arts choir at last year’s Independent show, prompted the band’s desire to work with more singers. Backup vocalists Anna Jack, Oona Garthwaite and Kelly McFarling, whom Koehler calls “the best of the best,” are on board for Friday’s show.

IF YOU GO
The Stone Foxes
Where: Independent, 628 Divisidero St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Nov. 17
Tickets: $22 to $25
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.theindependent.com

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