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Operation Encore: Music by Military Veterans – Featuring Stephen Covell

On September 30, 2017, there will be a Hurricane Harvey benefit show in Austin, TX by some Operation Encore musicians, including Monterey County native Stephen Covell. Proceeds will go to the work of Team Rubicon, which “unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.” Sept 30th event Facebook page:

Covell returned to his native Monterey County in 2010 after serving two Tours of Duty as a U.S. Army combat medic in Iraq. Now he heals with music. Preview his music, or purchase, at

He’s one of ten artists whose musical talents garnered a spot in the Kickstarter-supported project, “OPERATION ENCORE: Music by Military Veterans”: Stay in touch with @OperationEncore on Twitter, and at

For some Covell musical history, refer below to “Tunes Attack on Wave Street.” Stephen divides his time between the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas. To keep in contact:

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The post below was published on June 7, 2009. 

Army Medic Stephen Covell

Triumphs in His Tunes Attack on Wave Street

It was a sold-out show at Wave Street Studios tonight, standing room only, and the audience was spellbound by Stephen Covell’s performance. This talented musician deserves to go top-of-the-charts.

The young Jason Mraz fan seated next to me was enthralled with Covell and the songs he performed.  All were his own compositions.  Covell is an exceptional lyricist and joked that he really wanted to be a hip-hop artist; he commented that his song “What I’m Really Trying to Say” was his attempt to put as many words as possible into one song.  And though he zips along, singing most lyrics at a fast clip, every syllable is unmistakable.  (No chance of being frustrated that you can’t understand Covell’s lyrics.)  And Covell hits the high notes (as in “The View”) with the same rich vocal quality and confidence.

I suspect his ease on stage reflects the cool he’s learned to keep as a US Army medic on deployment in Iraq.  Some musicians would’ve been ruffled by Wave Street’s little techno blips, but Covell handled them with grace and humor—he just sailed right along with a big smile, coming through like a longtime pro.

I first heard Covell at Monterey Live, and when I heard he was recording tonight at Wave Street, I was not about to miss it. He’s expected back in this area at the end of the year (just home now on a two-week leave), and expects to do his next Monterey-area show in December. Buy your tickets fast—it’s likely to be another sell-out show.

His closing song, “Sand Hills to Sandals,” is the only song he has written—or expects to write, he said—about his experience in Iraq.  He dedicated the song, the evening’s only somber number, to his fellow soldiers on deployment. [Update: Hear a preview, or purchase “Sand Hills to Sandals,” at]

Covell’s music is consistently upbeat, and that makes sense.  He’s a medic, after all, and his goal is to help people feel better.  The jubilation of the people streaming out of Wave Street testified to his success.

For a little more on Covell on this site, see “Preserving Monterey’s History.”

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5/26/11: The squadron Stephen Covell served in, the 5th Squadron of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation in a ceremony at Fort Bragg for its actions four years ago in Operation Turki Bowl.

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Stephen Covell on Youtube,  posted 3/16/11.

This post was first published June 7, 2009.

This post was published on 28 April 2014. One or more changes last made to this post on 30 September 2017.

  1. marilynch says:

    Thank you, Kiki. Hard not to keep talking about such talented people as Stephen. I forwarded your invitation to him. Glad you now have him booked at Plaza Linda for January 8, 2011!

    I’m happy that both Plaza Linda and Rosie’s are among the early leaders representing Carmel Valley in the HER Helmet Thursdays project, too. Great to have you!

    Update: Music promoter Kiki Wow earned a Best of Monterey County 2011 award for Plaza Linda – Best Budding Scene in a Bucolic Locale.

  2. Hi Stephen,

    Mari is such a good promoter and continues to tell me of your wonderfulness. I book the acts at Plaza Linda Restaurant & Cantina in Carmel Valley and have Sat. Jan 8th open from 7-9 if you’d like to participate in my concert series. I bring outstanding music to the village and that’s my thing. Let me know if you are interested, you can visit our website and see some of the performers we’ve had. Tomorrow night is going to be a sensational show with Kiki Ebsen and check out the dinner concert situation. Seems to work for everybody.

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