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Joss Stone at Chene Park, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Joss Stone emerged as a teenager 14 years ago, snagging a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist. And neither her enthusiasm or the world’s regard for the British singer has changed.

Since her auspicious debut with “The Soul Sessions” cover set, Stone (nee Stoker) has releases six more albums and was part of the all-star band SuperHeavy with Mick Jagger, Damian Marley and Daniel Lanois. Stone has also piled up some acting credits, including two seasons as Anne of Cleves on Showtime’s “The Tudors” and last year’s “Tomorrow.”

Stone’s latest album, “Water For Your Soul,” came out in 2015; Since then her driving project has been ambition to play every country in the world, which brings her back to North America this week for a run that starts Thursday, June 22, at Detroit’s Chene Park...

• Stone, 30, has played 112 countries around the world so far and is strategizing how to get to them all. “There are 204, or some people think 1996 and some people think 226,” she says by phone from her home in Devon, England. “There’s a lot of political things that affect that (count), which I try very hard to ignore. I think, ‘Come on guys, get over it. If you say you’re a country, I’ll come play a gig.’”

• Stone also tries to collaborate with artists in each country she plays, documenting them with her brother, photographer and filmmaker Harry Stoker. “I have to learn their style, a lot of times in a different language,” Stone says. “But it’s great fun and I put them out, moreso for the artists I did them with rather than me. I think they get joy out of it and they’ll get a lot of help from those videos.”

• Playing remoted places -- most recently in the Congo -- can be tricky, she acknowledges. “It can be hard to sort out visas and things like that,” Stone explains. “We like to go in with visas; We don’t want to go in without having all the right stuff and be rude and just turn up without visas. So there’s a lot of pre-planning to do. Luckily I don’t have to do it; If I did, nothing would ever happen. My tour manager works very hard to sort all of that out.”

• The rigors of the tour, meanwhile, have kept Stone from considering her next recording project. “It’s hard for me to get my brain into making an album with all that stuff going on,” she says. “But I’ve never had a problem shutting it down or turning it on. I just feel like that’s what you do -- You writes songs. It’s not brain surgery. I feel like it’s not big deal if I don’t write a song for a month. I’ll write a song when the moment comes. And I kind of feel a little bit bored writing songs for the purpose of release. I’d rather just write and have a nice time and then forget I ever did it -- strange, isn’t it?”

• Stone turned 30 in April, which she’s “OK with” -- now, at least. “I started smoking again on my 30th birthday,” she says with a laugh. “It was like, ‘I can’t believe this! I’m 30! What is happening!?’ I think everyone goes through that. I’m one of the last of all my friends to become 30, and they’re all like, ‘Welcome to 30. Finally, here you are. It’s a new day, a new era.’ But I’m fine; As long as we still act like kids sometimes, it’s OK.”

If You Go:

• Joss Stone and Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires

• 8 p.m. Thursday, June 22.

• Chene Park Amphitheatre, Chene at Atwater streets, Detroit.

• Tickets are $40-$60 pavilion, $30 lawn.

• Call 800-745-3000 or visit cheneparkdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.cheneparkdetroit.com

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