Stevens began playing guitar at age 11 and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to pursue a career in the music business. Stevens worked as a school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for ten years before signing a recording contract with the independent label, Eureka Records. He released his debut album in 1995, garnering comparisons to Stevie Ray Vaughan, and scored a rock radio hit with the single, "Blue Drops of Rain." "One More Time" from his 1997 follow up, Road To Zen, was his highest charting single. It reached the top ten in Radio & Records and #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.