His name is Allen Stone, and this is going the year he and his music reaches out to the big masses. Allen Stone is one of these white american soul singers – that stick to the classic formula with great success. Through his sound and voice I feel I can draw a line from classic artists like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and to “new” white soul men like Jay K from Jamiroquai, Jamie Lidell, Robin Ticke and James Morrison.
Allen Stone is a 25-year-old soul singer/song-writer from Washington, US. According to his Wikipedia profile - he has sung almost since he was born, and sung in church at the age of three. Church has been like his second home – and the place he developed his love for music. Soul music was discovered later on, when he became a teenager, and started collecting soul albums from the 60s and 70s. At 15 he discovered Stevie Wonders fantastic “Innervisions”. A classic soul album and a reference to his musical landscape.
But he decided to make music his living – after hearing his teenage friend, artists Stacie Orrico – and this is so good that I quote as is the Wikipedia article “She was traveling, singing everywhere, and recording,” Stone says, “She was just a year older than me and I was like, “Man that would be so much fun to do, sing and actually have people listen” (This quote is taken from an Erica Thompson interview with Allen Stone in Rolling Stone magazine October 2012)
It´s tempting to do another quote, from the Rolling Stone article (link here) about what Allen Stones fans can expect from his second album “Allen Stone”; “Sonically, it’s a soul record” and continues “But it’s the music that I really love making. It’s not my attempt to cover all this soul music, it’s just really to fit in there and play the music that I love” and he ends it like this “People will listen to it and be like; Oh, this is a soul record”.
According to the Rolling Stone interview Allen Stone is working with Raphael Saadiqs backing band and one of the late jazz legend Miles Davis keyboard players. The album is being recorder with producer Lior Goldenberg from L.A who has also worked with big name artist like Macy Gray, Sheryl Crow, and son of late reggae legend Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley!It must be so cool to work with big names like that – and that is only on the second album.
It makes me wonder; Whats next for Allen Stone?
Back in 2009 he self-released his debut “Last To Speak” on his own label StickyStones records. His first album is a really soulful offering – containing 11 soulful singer/songwriter songs performed with mostly acoustic instruments and his fantastic voice – and he´s handling the guitar himself. I feel the album is representative with his self-confessed hippie with soul (link to Wikipedia) image and sound.
Allen Stones, new and second album – the self titled album “Allen Stone” – is ready for release at the end of february – and is already possible to pre-order in iTunes (which i off course have done). The original release of the album was back in 2011 – but it´s not available on iTunes until now in February. He has already released the “Allen Stone EP” – a mini-album containing 4 tracks.
Since the only thing I have heard from Allen Stones upcoming album is his “Allen Stone EP” – I can’t tell too much about how his second album is going to sound, but if the EP is representative for that – it seems like the upcoming album is a bit more produced this time, more groovy – more classic sounding – and without taking off the loose feeling of his debut album.