Album blues

Stephen Hunley's Debut Album The Other Side of Never

Thursday, October 16, 2014 Cora

Stephen Hunley released his first national album, "The Other Side of Never," October 7th, 2014. The Knoxville, TN native’s stylistic vocals and sophisticated fusion of blues, rock, jazz, and soul with a contemporary edge is quickly seeping into the hearts of critics and music lovers.

“We only use twelve notes in the Western world of music, so you can only be so “original,”” Hunley says. “I hope people hear something recognizable, but with original flair.” We do. Stephen Hunley is refreshing and a needed artist. He is unlike other contemporary singer- songwriters. Some performers he’s compared to are Marc Broussard and Jason Mraz. He reminds me a little of John Mayer on "Continuum", but more elegant. Hunley music is sophisticated, but approachable.

As you would add drops of water to scotch to open up the flavors, I feel the album really opens up as it goes along. The whole thing is beautiful in its honesty. That is one thing you will really connect with as you listen. As the third track begins, the album wakes up. I’m rapt and intrigued by his voice and the music. I see this playing in the background at the end of the day as you’re making dinner with friends but also dancing to keep the beat when you see him live. The third track is “Love You in the Dark,” one of my favorites and one Hunley describes as “easy on the ears.” Hunley is described as a natural poet leaning towards more abstract expression. He challenged himself to combine “some of Nashville’s more logical” songwriting techniques. It’s still plenty complex, but maybe also the water that unlocks the flavor profile.

I also really enjoyed “Speakeasy,”” I’m Not Who You Think I Am,” and “Call Me Baby.” They are juicy blues numbers that harken that appropriate in public sensuality that blues does. While he has his “fun” numbers, in “Pictures in Her Mind” he also turns his writing skills to communicate the pain of witnessing addiction and how it affects everyone involved. If you love blues, jazz, and rock or you’re looking for something new and refreshing, check out Stephen Hunley’s The Other Side of Never, available on iTunes and his website.

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