Sly Stone's Sister Optimistic About New Music

An upcoming catalog reissue will celebrate Sly & the Family Stone's past, but singer/keyboardist Rose Stone remains optimistic that the groundbreaking '60s group has a future, too.

An upcoming catalog reissue will celebrate Sly & the Family Stone's past, but singer/keyboardist Rose Stone remains optimistic that the groundbreaking '60s group has a future, too.

"I think that's more of a probability than a possibility," say Stone (born Rosemary Stewart), the sister of bandleader Sly Stone and guitarist Freddie Stone. "My personal feeling is it's not over. It's just not over. We're on a pause as far as the original group goes, but we've expanded from where we were and we're all still very hot at doing what we do."

The notoriously out-of-sight Sly, she says, is "working continuously. He's doing music, and that's one of the reasons I believe we're going to be hooking up again. We'll just see what happens. Everything looks promising."

For now, however, fans will have to content themselves with reissues -- an April 10 box set and April 24 individual titles -- of the group's seven studio albums released between 1967-74, all of which feature unreleased songs, demos, alternative versions and single mixes as bonus tracks. "There's a few on each album that were a surprise to me -- some I had totally forgotten about," Rose notes. "I thought they'd gotten lost. It just made me happy all over again to hear them."

Stone is doing her part to keep the music alive with the Original Family Stone, a group that also includes trumpeter Cynthia Robinson and saxophonist Jerry Martini and tours playing the old hits as well as new compositions by Rose. Some of those will appear on "Perfect Love," a solo album she plans to release by the end of April that she says will sound familiar to Family Stone fans -- "I always sound like that. I have no choice," she says -- and feature a few "surprises."

On top of that, Stone is finishing work on a biographical film called "Press On," named after one of the tracks on her album, and an as-yet-untitled memoir. "I'm just excited about all the stuff that's coming out," she says. "It's like, here we go again, just as fresh as the day we started."