One of my favorite things to do is get lost in the stream of suggestions YouTube offers of different musicians and their acoustic performances. I came across a video of Allen Stone performing an acoustic rendition of his song Unaware, and was hooked instantly. Seriously, I recommend everyone to go check it out – since its upload, the video has garnered over 4 million hits. His vocals and melodic style beautifully fuse the classic soul and R&B sound he is greatly influenced by – at the same time, expressing profound messages ranging from love to political criticism.
Stone was born in 1987 in Chewelah, Washington, a small town north of Spokane. At a very young age he began singing at the local church where his father was a minister. By his teen years, he was leading worship and playing the guitar at church. During that time, Stone was given a copy of Stevie Wonder’s album Innervisions. He fell in love with soul music and started collecting classic records from the 60’s and 70’s. After some time in college, Stone made the decision to drop out and move to Seattle to pursue music full-time.
Today, the self-proclaimed “hippie with soul” has three albums under his belt – Last To Speak, Allen Stone, and Radius. Stone is currently on a cross-country tour promoting the third album, Radius.
Needless to say, when I saw there were Texas dates coming up, I knew I had to go, and impulsively bought two tickets.
He performed at the House of Blues – Houston, during Halloween weekend. Originally, I was worried about having to go alone because most of my friends already had plans for that night, but I managed to drag my mom out to come and join me. In hindsight, inviting my mom to go with me made the concert a lot more meaningful because we got to experience something we wouldn’t normally do together. Both of us had so much fun dancing to every song he played, which I think speaks volumes to the kind of music Stone is putting out. It’s timeless, and resonates with all generations. A quick glance around the venue, and I could see the diverse group of people that came out to see him perform. During his set, he was charismatic and engaged with the crowd throughout the entire show. Stone played with a seven-piece band that further magnified the “throwback” feel that made you want to stand up and move to every beat.
What’s even more endearing is that it seems like he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Performing in front of hundreds of people did not stop him from getting into the spirit of Halloween. The dude managed to swoon the entire audience in a pea costume. If that is not talent, then I don’t know what is.
Check out the live performance of his new song, Upside, below. If you’re into Stone’s music, you can check to see if any upcoming tour dates are coming near you. You too can impulsively buy a pair of tickets like myself. And maybe invite your mom? Maybe.