Rock of ages

Fresh from the Belleview area, Limestone plays rock that transcends generations while paying tribute to the classic rock, pop and punk of their forebears.

Limestone members (left to right): Annabelle Lopiano, Jacob Ben-Judah, Reese Bowman and Breckin Philips. [Supplied]

Home » Arts & Entertainment
Posted March 24, 2023 | By Julie Garisto 

The members of Limestone—one of Ocala’s youngest and most promising rock bands—are coming of age when any song from around the world, from any time period, can be played with a few taps on a smartphone. 

And, like many of their peers, they are choosing to listen to the bands their Gen X or Boomer moms and dads enjoyed in heavy rotation while they were growing up. 

Reese Bowman, the band’s guitarist, turns 19 this month. Donning a vintage cap and mustache with 1970s-style long hair, Bowman imparts wisdom beyond his tender years. The University of Central Florida student, who grew up in the Belleview area, emphasized a “comfortability factor” while rocking out to Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin and other favorites of his dad. 

His bandmates—Annabelle Lopiano (vocals and guitar); Breckin Philips (bass and mandolin), and Jacob Ben-Judah (piano and drums)—also expressed affection for the music their parents listened to while they grew up. 

“A song that sticks with me the most is ‘Africa’ by Toto,” Ben-Judah said. “My dad played it for us on a road trip,” he reminisced. “Every time I hear it, I’m reminded of that trip.” 

Nostalgia aside, the Limestone musicians are not veering in the direction of a tribute band. They are carving out a sound that’s their own, using the multiple instruments they have been playing since the days of their music classes and recitals at Belleview Middle School, and even before that. 

“My mother, Jamie, is the music teacher at Belleview Elementary,” Ben-Judah shared. “My dad also loves music. He’s the one who taught me how to play piano. He spends a lot of his free time writing songs.” 

“Growing up, my dad played a lot of different music,” Philips shared. Some of his standouts include rock bands Rush and Jethro Tull and classical staples such as Beethoven and Mozart. The multi-instrumentalist also grew up in a musical household. “My mom used to play piano and my dad was in choir in high school,’’ Philips added. “My older brother and sister both played clarinet.” 

All of the members of Limestone—their band name is inspired by Ocala’s signature rock formations—combine early music training with self-taught, evolving chops. 

Lopiano, who’s turning 18 soon, leans more toward contemporary pop featuring prominent female vocals. “Some of my favorite artists have got to be Taylor Swift, Paramore, Phoebe Bridgers and Lizzy McAlpine,” she said. 

She and the guys officially formed Limestone during a talent showcase at Belleview High School last year. 

“Anabelle actually didn’t know that I had already put the band together,” Bowman prefaced. “She had approached me, and I said, ‘Huh, funny enough, I already have a group.’ I had already heard her sing and knew she was a phenomenal singer. I showed the rest of the group one recording, and they were all amazed. The feeling was, yeah, we definitely need to get her.” 

Ben-Judah, 19, is the experimentalist of the group. He digs the progressive flourish of prog rock like Rush and tinkers with effects pedals. 

Philips, 18, is the jokester who comes up with the song-intro banter. Recently, he introduced a tune from “Shrek 2,” and the band started ripping into a cover of the punk classic “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” by the Buzzcocks. 

Regardless of their differences, the bandmates manage to synthesize their preferences and curiosities into a fresh and energetic sound that’s unique and warmly familiar at the same time. 

Their sets mix covers and originals. A new album is in the works, and Lopiano already has some solo tunes on Spotify. 

Some cover tunes take some convincing. Bowman wasn’t sure about playing a Taylor Swift tune at first but agreed to take on the pop diva’s “You Belong With Me,” adding some rough edges to the tune’s poppy patina by palm-muting the strings. 

Limestone likes to switch things up instrumentally both internally and from what our ears are used to. Ben-Judah takes over lead vocals on a cover of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” and Bowman plays banjo in place of George Harrison’s sitar. 

“I feel like it’s definitely important to be able to know what your sound is,” Bowman said. “But to have a unique sound, it doesn’t have to be wildly outlandish or anything. Because if it’s not what you want to play, it’s obviously not going to be genuine. And if it’s not genuine, it’s not going to stand out.” 

The band’s first public gig recently took place at master painter Lisa Russo’s carnival-mask-themed art reception in February at the Brick City Center for the Arts. Russo’s daughter Victoria is a close friend of Lopiano. 

Toning things down with acoustics, Limestone got a great response from the crowd at the Brick, and the members say they are ready to take on more public venues and events. 

“A venue in Ocala I’d love for us to play would be the square,” Lopiano said, “either on the square itself or in some of the local restaurants surrounding it. That would be amazing.” 

For more information on Limestone or to contact them for a gig, visit 

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