Aaron Stephens
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Aaron Stephens

McAllen, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

McAllen, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo R&B Soul





Aaron Stephens has a timeless voice, that lands somewhere in the midst of Michael Bublé, John Legend and Frank Sinatra. He’s a little jazz, a little blues, a little rock n’ roll and a lot of great lyrics.
The first time I saw him perform live was at Superfly’s in San Marcos. I bought his EP — “To Reach Your Soul” — on the spot. It was love at first note, and it did speak to my soul. Nearly a year later, Stephens began crowd-funding his first full-length album. I thought that donating to Stephens’ endeavor might make me too biased to cover the album’s release. But after listening to it, I knew my love of “To Reach Your Soul” made me even more critical of “Hard Times Straight Lines.” - San Marcos Daily Record

"New Music: Aaron Stephens"

Singer-songwriter Aaron Stephens has power. I’m tempted to brand his hooky blend of soul and folk it’s very own style, a genre I’ll call ‘sulk’ – or sulkcore if you want get all scene about it. His voice filled with heartache and his fingers patiently plucking away at his guitar, Stephens breaks right through your walls. No frills. No bullshit. Just unfiltered emotion delivered so calmly and so skillfully that you just need to sit and stare for a while. The artist says it best himself:

"These songs are about real experiences that I’m going through and I’m not trying to hold back any details. It’s straight from the soul." - Seeds The Hype Tree Blog

"‘Hard Times Straight Lines’: Local artist’s sophomore album unites new, old school funk"

Sometimes a hard road is lined with lessons that serve as guideposts to keep us on the straight-and-narrow.
Singer-songwriter Aaron Stephens will drop his sophomore album, Hard Times Straight Lines, at his next show at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Cine El Rey.
The CD is a blend of new and old school funk, soul and blues, and the result is a refreshing collection that never let me down. Stephens has the voice for soul, an ear for funk and the hands to put it all to music.
Hard Times Straight Lines kicks off with “Yesterday’s Favorite (Old News),” a bluesy lament with an upbeat backbone. I’ve never used the phrase “plaintively funky,” but that’s what this is. I’m nodding my head while Stephens croons out his sorrowful experience — one most of us have gone through. “You don’t see me like you used to/Forgot about me and I’m old news/And I’m counting down the days/ ‘Til you forget about me completely.”
Stephens’ soulful vocals hearken to artists like Ben Harper, Otis Redding and Amos Lee. He most reminded me of a young Dobie Grey, with a voice like warm honey over fine-grained sandpaper.
On track two, “Shadow,” Stephens shows off his vocal range, dipping lower and grittier in this sexy invitation to a woman looking for a “man to treat her right.” Flanger guitars wail the artist and his muse’s desperation. “You say you’re tired of sleeping/But you haven’t slept in years/ … If you let him back in/ You know what you’re asking for/ You don’t need no shadow.”
The album is also a lot of fun — exactly the sort of mix of tracks you’d want on a long road trip. Track six, “Zzzz” opens with rousing club piano and takes another experience we’ve all been through and makes it into a pop-folk hit.
Hard Times Straight Lines closes with an emotional home run, “Ode to Pops,” where Stephens thanks his father for all of his influences — what he gave with his hands and heart. It’s a sweet, acoustic tribute, and the musical chops are eminent.
“Now I’m trying to stay grounded/I know I can/But I’m so dumbfounded/By my life’s demands/Now I’m standing in the corner gazing at the wall/It’s closing in on me/It’s my curtain call/And I’m not afraid/That’s not how I was raised.”
Let’s hope this isn’t Stephens’ curtain call, because it seems that he has a wide, deep well full of more sweetness to give. I’ll be listening to this album again. Songs will be available on iTunes, aaronstephens.bandcamp.com and aaronstephensmusic.com. - Madeleine Smither | The Monitor


"To Reach Your Soul" Ep - 2012

"Hard Times Straight Lines" LP - 2014



Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in McAllen, Texas. Aaron Stephens' debut album Hard Times, Straight Lines garnered interest immediately, landing a spot on Lone Star Music Magazine's list of Top Selling Albums of 2014.

While regularly performing R&B and funk, Stephens really shines when performing his own original sound. Soul soothing, genre-bending songs served with moments of melodic improvisation. Influenced by his musical heroes, from Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and John Mayer to Derek Trucks.

Visit www.aaronstephensmusic.com for more info!

Band Members