Laugh tracks

Trey Stone brings improv influenced rock to Trolley Stop

By Katie Christoff

Photo: Trey Stone and the Ringers will perform Dec. 4 at the Trolley Stop; photo: Dave Boudinot

Trey Stone is versatile, in every sense of the word.
The Dayton resident and frontman of Trey Stone and the Ringers, performing at the Trolley Stop Dec. 4, spent 15 years as the musical director at Second City in Chicago, playing piano during improv shows.
Just over four years ago, Stone decided to bring his talents to Dayton.
“I have family here and grew up visiting here my whole life,” Stone says of Dayton. “I’d just had enough of headaches of living in such a huge city. I was tired of parking tickets and traffic and noise, and I said, ‘I’m moving to Dayton, Ohio.’”
“It’s been a great move,” he continues. “I’m having the time of my life in Dayton, Ohio. People look at me like I’m crazy when I say that, but it’s true. I love it here.”
After leaving Chicago and Second City, Stone began attending open mic nights here in Dayton. It was an open mic at Canal Street Tavern where he met the first of now seven band members that make up Trey Stone and the Ringers.
“I knew Dayton had a good music scene,” Stone says. “Over the past four and a half years, the band has grown to eight guys. I’m really proud because it’s a ton of amazing musicians, and I’m really grateful that I’m able to have a band like that.”
Stone continues to display the musical versatility that he developed during his years of working in improv. He plays piano and sings, and the band covers a wide range of musical styles.
“We do a lot of originals, covers and New Orleans-type stuff,” he says. “A lot of blues, old R&B stuff, rock and roll. I always say we’re a rock and roll band.”
On the original side, Stone released a record in 2013, Ahead of the Pack. Under the band’s moniker, he released a Christmas EP, Trey Stone and the Ringers Sing About Christmas. Both contain entirely original material and are available on iTunes, Amazon—and in Dayton at Omega Records.
The band is currently in the process of recording a new EP. Three tracks are already finished, and available on the band’s Bandcamp page. They recorded at Real Love Studios, located right here in Dayton.
Stone says the transition from playing for improv performances to playing in an eight-piece band has been a smooth one.
“It’s not that difficult of a transition because I’m sort of the band leader,” he says. “Whether good or bad, most decisions pass through me in the band. When you’re in improv, you’re generally the only musician there and lead the thing musically. That’s kind of similar, but what I love about having a band is that I no longer have frustration of not being able to express myself. When playing for an improv troupe there are times with lots of piano, then times you wont touch the thing all night long, and it got frustrating. Like, I’m supporting all these people who are brilliant, but I need to find an outlet for me too to get my stuff out there and play more music.”
Stone still occasionally plays for improv shows in Dayton. He has two holiday shows coming up at the Black Box Improv Theater on Dec. 18 and 19.
“About once a month or so, I go over there, and we improvise a musical,” Stone says. “And on certain occasions, the band joins us. We play and showcase our stuff, and we’ll play Christmas songs.”
The band performs fairly regularly in Dayton and is currently working on organizing a few short little tours, according to Stone.
He also travels periodically, touring with a show called “Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy,” playing about 30 shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“A lot of other people in the cast I’ve worked with through Second City,” he says. “I’ve been able to work with lots of people who went on to become famous, and lots who didn’t—tons of talented people.”
Stone has had many brushes with fame throughout his long musical career, but for now, he’s happy right where he is in Dayton.

Trey Stone and the Ringers will perform Friday, Dec. 4 at 9:30 p.m. at the Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St. The band will also perform two holiday shows on Dec. 18 and 19 at the Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St. For more information or to download their music, please find Trey Stone and the Ringers on Facebook or visit
Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Christoff at

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