Growing up I had no use for an alarm clock. My father’s stereo acted as a substitute.
Every morning rather than awaking to the ring of harsh consecutive beeps, I would get in the groove with Sly & the Family Stone or force myself to wake up so I could finish a soulful Dusty Springfield lyric or leap up because my heart pained to feel love the way Etta James understood it.
Thanks to my father’s obsession with R&B/soul, my childhood, adolescence and adulthood have been shaped by music. Whether I feel happy, depressed, confused, in the mood to dance, show someone an epic song, choose my favorite song, clean my house, relax, or really do anything worthwhile, my internal jukebox always yearns for a little old school R&B.
There is no problem I cannot solve by listening to and contemplating the lyrics in a soul tune.
As tradition, though I’m not sure it is a conscious tradition of his, my father gives me his latest favorite album whenever a gift is in order. This Christmas, the artist of choice was Allen Stone.
I had never heard of him, many still have yet to hear of him because he is an ‘up and coming’ young musician from the middle of nowhere in Washington state (I can say that because being from Washington and I have never heard of Chewelah).
Within seconds of plugging him in, I fell head over heels. Each song that flowed into my ears drew me in a little farther, each lyric resonated deeper and each beat made me wiggle my hips a little groovier.
Allen Stone’s two LPs were played on repeat for every day for about two months. I am not embarassed to say this is not an exaggeration…