Stone & Snow Wins International Songwriting Contest | WGLT

Stone & Snow Wins International Songwriting Contest

Jan 23, 2019

Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson of the Bloomington-Normal folk duo Stone & Snow are on a roll with their original song "Love is a Weapon."

The video for the song was recognized as one of the outstanding entries in the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest.

Stone & Snow learned a month ago "Love is a Weapon" won the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest NAMM edition. That earned them a trip to Los Angeles to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) conference this Sunday to perform on the main stage.

Bridges and Thomson stopped by the GLT studios to talk about the award. Thomson said it's a big deal to be able to perform a 40-minute set of original music in front of music professionals.

“A lot of people have known about the NAMM show for a long, long time, and me just through being a gear hound,” said Thomson.

“Exposure is exciting,” added Bridges. “I don’t know what to expect though, I think that’s maybe my hesitation as I’ve never been to NAMM. How you learn about new gear in the industry is really through that show."

In addition to winning the performance, NAMM is giving the duo roughly $12,000 in gear as another part of the prize package.

"I didn't think it would be something that people would care about because it seemed so personal to me at the beginning when I wrote it."

Recognition from NPR and now a songwriting contest affiliated with a prestigious industry group has the duo still a bit taken aback.

“It’s a little surreal,” Bridges giggled. “I didn’t think it would be something that people would care about because it seemed so personal to me at the beginning when I wrote it.”

“I guess when somebody on the outside looking in at this one, I think the timing of this one couldn’t come at a better time with the way things are today and all the hate going around,” added Thomson. “For me, that’s the importance of the song; we don’t have to focus on the hate or the negative.”

I know I can be/A little overwhelming

It’s hard enough already/To make it through

But that’s the price/I figure I’m paying

To have my muse/To know your name

I don’t wanna lose you/If I don’t have to

But sometimes I think the earth is gonna

Open up and swallow you whole

Love is a weapon/See if you can use it

‘Cause I don’t wanna fight like this anymore

- From “Love is a Weapon” by Stone & Snow

“The interpretation I hear from others is that it’s largely about courage and approaching conflict,” said Bridges. “There’s always going to be conflict and there’s a lot of hate out there right now, but to approach things from a place of love and to use that as a way to fight rather than giving in to your base instincts.”

Both say the national “nudges” have them motivated as they plan the recording of their first album in nearly three years.

“We’re going to record new material this year, and this song will be featured prominently,” said Bridges, who added they have recorded “Love is a Weapon” recently.

“We’re going to offer it up as a single next month, and do a pre-order campaign to get this album going. We’re looking at a summer release,” said Bridges.

Stone & Snow will perform at 1 p.m. Sunday on the main stage of the NAMM show in Los Angeles. They have also been offered to perform at the Dexibell booth at NAMM where other guest artists are expected to perform, including Stevie Wonder.

Bridges said Dexibell is a relatively new company out of Italy that started out of a shuttered Roland Europe factory about two years ago.

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