San Antonio native Bryan Stephens relocated to New York right after high school to follow his dream of becoming a working musician. Soon after arriving, he started hanging out regularly at New York’s legendary Cafe Wha?, which is where such icons as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan were discovered. Soon Stephens had managed to become a regular of the house band, eventually taking over as the music director/band leader.
“I love playing at the Wha?,” Stephens says. “The history of the venue itself is impeccable and it’s where I’ve been allowed to develop my craft for all these years.” Now, Stephens is ready to tackle his next act, releasing a solo album. Village of Dreams features tracks written over the course of the past several years, but manages to come together as one cohesive album. Most of his hook-laden tracks are based on relationships.
“They’re inspired by the good and the bad,” Stephens says. “”I hope people can relate to these songs since I’ve been writing about what everyone experiences from my own personal point of view.”
Whether focusing on his parents’ divorce in the dramatic but pretty ballad “Out of Her Mind,” to the catchy and hopeful “Turnabout” which finds Stephens writing about his own separation, anyone who has moved on after a difficult relationship can connect with the provocative cut. Tracks like the sunny guitar-driven “In June” focus on moving on and new love.
Stephens recorded the album in Lost Angeles with the help of Grammy-nominated Producer Dave Darling, keyboardist Arlan Oscar and pianist Brockett Parsons. Nicholas Ansara, a formidable flamenco guitarist, fleshes out the album.