Article written by Shaun Brady
Images courtesy Michelle Montgomery and thekey.xpn.org
On the day that his boss approached him with the idea of putting together a benefit concert, Aaron Brown was listening to Stevie Wonder – not that this was a particularly unusual circumstance. “I don’t think that a day goes by when I don’t listen to at least twenty Stevie Wonder songs,” Brown says. “I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan.”
But on this occasion, Wonder was particularly prominent in Brown’s consciousness. He had just played last summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, during which WXPN host Robert Drake posted on Facebook that hearing Brown’s band, Aaron & The Spell, was akin to ‘listening to vintage 1970s Stevie Wonder.’ And he soon realized that the album he happened to be spinning that day, the 1973 classic, Innervisions, would be celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year.
All of those factors combined to inspire this Wednesday’s show at World Café Live, where Aaron & The Spell will perform Innervisions in its entirety to raise money for Brown’s employer, Pathways to Housing PA, a non-profit organization which helps chronically homeless individuals suffering from mental illness with finding and maintaining housing. (A second show on Thursday at NYC’s Cutting Room will do the same for the organization’s New York chapter.)