Genre: R&B, Soul
Doors: 8:00 PM
Show: 9:00 PM
Tickets: $25.00 + service fees
Following the successes of his debut album Hard Times, Straight Lines which led him to stages nationwide and entrenched him in notable Texas venues such as Antone's and Gruene Hall, Austin's triple-soul-threat Aaron Stephens set out to craft a follow-up record taking his sound to new heights. Focus, released August 2018, not only meets, but exceeds all expectations. Typically backed by his five-piece band and brimming with summery grooves, Focus highlights Stephens' uncanny songwriting chops, the album shining with equal parts invigoration and innovation. Of course, Stephens' inviting, warm, rich, vocals stand out at the front.
Often drawing vocal comparisons to Bill Withers, Stephens' voice is a highlight throughout every verse on every track, constantly capturing your attention no matter the subject or style. Also present throughout is Stephens' brilliant guitarwork; sometimes subtle, sometimes striking, and occasionally surprising, whether it's Derek Trucks-inspired slide texturing or his own take on soaring contemporary blues-inspired grooves that take the best of John Mayer mashed with 70's era Clapton to drive the song home. All of this comes together through perhaps Aaron Stephens' greatest strength; his focus. Working with his touring band in studio and carefully crafting each song over the course of the last year, Stephens has offered up a batch of songs that are arranged as beautifully as any, demonstrating his versatility as the album effortlessly sequences through a multitude of muses; love, life, jazz, happiness, funk, and most of all, focus.