It’s been two years since we’ve been blessed with an Allen Stone project, but these past few weeks have us convinced that he plans on spending 2018 making it up to us. Shortly after a seductive guest feature on Deva Mahal‘s “Turnt Up” (from her long-awaited debut album Run Deep), the incredibly talented singer/songwriter/musician surprised us with a groovy new single, “Brown Eyed Lover,” and announced plans for a fall tour.
He also recently spent some time as a guest mentor on the revamped American Idol, giving tips and gracing the stage during the “Top 24-Celebrity Duets” round of performances. Like the audiences and the judges, we were blown away. Last week, Stone was paired with contestant Dennis Lorenzo for a searing redux of his 2011 breakout hit “Unaware.” But this week, he and contestant Marcio Donaldson went much further back in time, delivering a spirited rendition of Marvin Gaye‘s timeless message, “What’s Going On.”
Still on a high from the lively performance and inspired by the current state of affairs, Allen decided to take it a step further and release his own acoustic cover of the song. He’s never been one to shy away from social commentary, but it’s the sincerity, soulfully woven throughout his vocals, that make this a worthwhile listen.
We suspect Mr. Stone has a lot of new music on the way, but in the meantime, do yourself a favor and listen to his stripped-back version of “What’s Going On” below and watch his American Idol duet. Afterward, peep his flawless performance of “Brown Eyed Lover” recorded live at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios and purchase a copy of the track to add to your playlists. For tour dates and tickets, visit his website.