For Pittsburgh native Rob Stokes, his musical journey highlights an individual that goes for the uncommon route. In a feature from Washington Post last year, it was revealed that Stokes found himself performing at gigs inside his hometown grocery store. The feature also mentioned about nights where Stokes set up DIY rap shows and jam sessions with psychedelic rock bands during his college days.
After releasing Live at the Heartbreak Hotel last year, Stokes has returned with new music; this time, he’s enlisted talented musicians have joined him to create a musical project/radio play called October ‘71. Set in a more cinematic landscape, the backdrop of the new tracks under the same title takes place during the 1971 World Series between Pittsburgh versus Baltimore. While this classic series worked its way to the epic conclusion and Roberto Clemente winning MVP honors, the story centers on a house band that has found themselves in the underbelly of the crime world. Corruption with the political system along with gambling on the outcome of the seven games series has a rogue FBI agent discovering that they may be in just a bit too deep.
Stokes has released a single off of October ‘71, “Burn.” Incorporating a smooth, vibe to the track, Stokes features Sir E.U., Donavan Duvall, and Louis Puech to flesh out the instrumentals that showcase a jazz lounge quality. “Burn” is a track from the October ’71 story, wherein one of our characters comes to terms with their..let’s say ‘loose’ activity,” Stokes says. “The root of the trouble is the desire for true love and a better life while faced with the fear of loss and a borderline crisis. Through this, they’re forced to re-examine their current behavior.”