Band hopes to raise $10k for Torrington High music program

Torrington High School English Teacher, Chris Shoults, and THS alum, Dave Sandusky, have a mission: to team their rock band, LoadStoneD, with their alma mater and our community for a shot at donating ten thousand dollars to the Torrington High School music program. Best of all, it doesn't involve anyone having to buy anything-or THS students having to sell anything.

At the end of February, the top vote earner at will be awarded ten thousand dollars, money LoadStoneD hopes to donate locally. Already climbing through the ranks at a respectable clip, Shoults says it will take help from students, faculty, and community members alike to get the job done-but that it's achievable. A vote can be cast each hour until the end of the month by simply logging onto or by visiting and clicking on the "Artist Signal" icon. A Facebook account (with a minimum of thirty friends) is required in order to be able to vote-which is Artist Signal's approach to circumventing cheating. The whole process only takes a few seconds each time.

So who and what is LoadStoneD? The group itself was born in the summer of 2011 and is comprised of Shoults (primary songwriting, vocals, and rhythm guitar) and Sandusky (drums), a graphic designer and firefighter in Eugene, Oregon-who had prior experience playing together. Add Dan Baker (bass) an associate professor of pediatrics in New Brunswick, New Jersey, (a connection of Sandusky's) and Tim Buckman (lead guitar), who holds doctorate in music composition from CU at Boulder (and who the group was fortunate enough to stumble upon), and the result is LoadStoneD. "Anywhere you look, you'll notice we bill ourselves as a band from Denver," Shoults says. "We live all over the place, so that's the most central place to rehearse or work in the studio. That said, the project really arose locally." And the group's name? Apparently, it's a reference to the tendency life's various commitments have to overwhelm a person.

Though their most recent release entitled My Kinda Crazy (December 2012) is more rooted in rock than their previous work, they point out there are still a few tunes that strike country listeners, the most popular of which is "Mama, She Lied," a ballad which looks at how service members' lives can sometimes move on without them while they're serving their country. But if you're not down with a banjo solo or the sweet sound of acoustic guitars, rock anthems like "My Kinda Crazy," "Bell Jar," "Stuck," and "With You, Without You" are sure bets for a little upbeat angst. And all of them are free to hear on Artist Signal.

Why do these guys want to donate money to a local school? As Sandusky puts it, "The conversation was really one of us all being career professionals; we have the means to support our musical endeavors. That lead to taking a closer look at why we are still seriously involved in music at this point in our lives." To that, Shoults adds, "The answer really boiled down to our musical experiences in school, especially high school, and wanting to create similar experiences for others. Since the greatest common factor for our group was Torrington High School, the next step was conversing with THS administration and with district-level administration, who were supportive."

Seemingly, it's a win-win situation that keeps scented candles and cheese logs out of the equation, but it is one that requires everyone who can to vote-and vote as frequently as possible. Certainly the worst case scenario is not enough votes means there won't be any money for the group to pass along to THS. "Like music, this has to be a team effort," the group's members point out. "And this is probably one of the easiest opportunities for people to pitch in that we've ever seen." Ultimately, the sooner people get started voting hourly and consistently at or by visiting and clicking the "Artist Signal" icon, the better the chances THS will see a ten thousand dollar boost for its music program in the near future.

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