Looking at Allen Stone, it’s unlikely the first thing you’d think of is “soul singer.” His J. Mascis-Meets-Todd-Snider appearance and Billy the Kid sneer do a fantastic job of disguising the spectacular voice inside. It’s a voice that’s perfectly made to sing R&B, landing somewhere between Jamiroquai at his Stevie Wonder-invoking best, a soulful Jason Mraz, and a less depressed Ray Lamontagne.
Stone developed his voice singing in the same suburban Washington state church where his father was a preacher. Though he’s still just 25 he sounds like an old soul on his two records, 2010’s Last to Speak and his 2011 self-titled album – or at least as much like an old soul can when singing about Facebook status updates as he does on “Contact High,” one of the standout tracks on Allen Stone.
But a good voice is only half the battle – without solid musicians backing you up, your soulful voice is useless. Fortunately, Stone knows how to write solid soul/R&B numbers that sound straight out of the late 60s, and assemble a fantastic band to back him up. Performing live, his roots are apparent; organs, electric pianos, and other gospel music staples are all on stage with him. But you won’t hear “church music” at the 9:30 Club tonight; as Stone is fond of saying, his “soul is a little bit greasy.” His relentless energy, soulful jams, and of course that amazing voice will guarantee a great show.
Not that he’ll need it, but the crowd will be warmed up well by opening act Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. The Brooklyn nine-piece soul/funk powerhouse, led by diminutive singer Arleigh Kincheloe and her brother, harmonica player Jackson Kincheloe, are touring in support of their spectacular 2012 release Pound of Dirt. Their 9:30 Club debut promises to be a memorable one, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re seeing them as headliners.
Tickets are still available for tonights show and you can get your hands on em right HERE. We'll see you tonight, and remember...get there EARLY!