USA Today has called Allen Stone a "pitch-perfect powerhouse" and The New York Times has likened his socially conscious music to that of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers. But the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from the tiny backwoods town of Chewelah, Washington just sees himself as "a hippie with soul".
Stone has spent the past four years honing his unique style the old-fashioned way: crisscrossing the country in a van with his ace band and playing any small club that would have him. Since the digital release of his self-titled album via his own stickystones label in October 2011, Stone's shows have been selling out from coast to coast. The album jumped into the Top 10 of Billboard's Heatseekers chart and entered the Top 5 of iTunes' R&B/Soul charts. His first national television appearance—on "Conan"—came after the music booker saw a YouTube video of Allen performing "Unaware" in his mother's living room. Performances on "Jimmy Kimmel Live", "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Live from Daryl's House" followed and Esquire, CNN and Billboard named Stone as an artist to watch—all before he had the support of a record label. Stone has since signed to ATO Records, which is bringing the album into wide release.
"Allen Stone, a 24-year-old Seattle songwriter, was an unabashed throwback when he performed at a packed S.O.B.'s on Wednesday night. He talked about cellphones and social networks and sang about, among other things, the clout of the Christian right and a culture of greed. But his music reached back four decades to the late 1960s and early '70s, when songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers brought introspection and social commentary to soul music." --NY Times