- Bryon Harris
Stephen Monroe - 'The Devil'
Stephen Monroe is a rocking, classic Blues-Americana artist based out of Omaha, NE. He is a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist. Monroe first began his musical journey as a part of a band straight out of high school, but as the years rolled by he realized that it was time to step away and go out on his own, writing music that called to him and playing solo gigs and radio throughout the region. Following his vision as a solo artist, Monroe has created music that is classic and timeless. With his song “The Devil”, Monroe delivers a truly authentic music experience, just a man and his acoustic guitar, singing the blues from a place that sounds confident and inspired; the performance is so intimate, he could be sitting right next to you on your front porch.
Stephen Monroe’s “The Devil” is a classic blues jam. At the start of the song Monroe brings us in with a traditional blues guitar riff, simple and steady. He begins the vocals in a comfortable lower range as if he's starting a story, “The Devil won this one again. I opened the door and let him in.” The chorus is downright catchy and even though he's talking about the devil, it somehow puts a smile on your face and has a feel-good vibe. As we enter the first verse, Monroe proves his ability to rock with the best of them as he shows off is upper vocal register with growing intensity and passion. Monroe's guitar playing offers riffs, rhythmic pulses, hard and soft strumming, and melodic mimicking of the song's melody. The lyrics build with emotion as Monroe confesses, "I have no answers, not a one. My life has changed and so have I." “The Devil” gives off that live performance feel reminiscent of the traditional recordings of this style of music giving Monroe a classic sound that will be loved by many. It's a great find for anyone looking for an old-school rockin’ blues song that is raw and stripped down. After listening to the composition of this tune, I realized that it could easily become a blues classic. I can hear it being played anywhere with blues musicians hopping in to play solos from saxophonists to electric guitarists and I can hear bass lines and percussion - and this is what good songwriting is all about. It's about writing a tune that others would want to play because when it comes to the blues - it's all about sharing the story and Monroe has written a classic blues tale about the a man and his demons that other musicians and singers will truly enjoy. And, of course, fans will enjoy it too. Monroe is currently working on finishing up his next album and will be playing at some local benefit concerts. He currently has two works completed, 'Drive the Sky Highway' and 'Traveling at the Speed of Steve,' which can be purchased via CD Baby and iTunes.