NPR Music recently welcomed singer-songwriter-guitarist Allen Stone to its D.C. offices for a soul-stirring “Tiny Desk Concert.” Known for his extraordinary voice and top-notch band, the singer/songwriter offered stripped-down, acoustic versions of four songs accompanied by pianist Michael Elson and vocalists Moorea Masa, Raquel Rodriguez, and Jessica Childress.
The brief but powerful performance opens with the socially conscious song, “American Privilege”, followed by three tunes from Stone’s latest release, Building Balance. He stops between songs to describe how the album was inspired by his romance with his wife, and to acknowledge his deep appreciation for the Tiny Desk series.
At one point, Stone notes, “It’s a breath of fresh air for me that this is the way people want to hear music.” There’s no way he could have known on February 26th, when the performance was recorded, what a breath of fresh air it would end up being for today’s quarantined music lovers.
What he meant at the time, he goes on to explain, was that there’s something special about the intimate nature of the Tiny Desk that allows people to connect through music better than at a bigger show: “We travel all the time, and we play really big rooms and it’s awesome. It’s so much fun. There’s so much energy. But you put these little ear monitors in your head and you feel really isolated,” he says. “And the best part of music is the community of it, right? It’s the people!”
At a time when we are all starved for human connection and digital concerts are the only option, this comes as a reminder that the power of music to bring us together remains as strong as ever.
Listen to the new Allen Stone Tiny Desk Concert below:
Allen Stone – NPR Tiny Desk Concert [Full Video]
[Video: NPR Music]