Will Stewart’s County Seat Sparks Old-Time Country Rock Feelin’

will stewart county seat artwork FINAL

You can catch Will Stewart perform Tuesday August 28 at Main at South Side in Fort Worth, TX 

By: Neal McAlister

Whether you’re searchin’ for somethin’ ethereal you’ve lost, or are scouring every darn magazine you can get your hands on to find your new old-time feelin’ country rock record, Will Stewart will sure put your minds’ ears at rest.

You will find rest in the continuity of production across the nine-track LP. The Zen riffs that morph into drenched hooks on “Faultline” strike a central vibe.

After cutting his teeth in Nashville, Stewart headed back to Alabam’ after many-a-year workin’ as a songman—frontin’ a band with guit-tar in hand.

Big Ben sometimes chimed especially for Stewart, as The Guardian even produced coverage of his work.

Knee-high to a beanstalk, Stewart grew up in Alabama, listenin’ to old-time music and the ruckus of country rock. The Yellowhammer State’s convoluted history with regard to socio-cultural historical events can be heard echoing throughout County Seat.

Birmingham called Stewart home like The Wabash Cannonball. Musing upon the scene, setting and romantic culture of the South, Will Stuart channeled his experience into his full-length debut in 2017.

Will Stewart photo by Wes FrazerWill Stewart | Photo Credit: Wes Frazer

The six-string oriented record is steeped in the tradition of country, while utilizing the freedom that electric instruments provide.

All nine tracks of County Seat were recorded in only two days, but are steeped in a lifetime of experience in music and Alabama culture.

Track three’s title “Brush Arbor” references Dennis Covington’s Salvation on Sand Mountain. But don’t fret, Stewart doesn’t utilize serpents to proselytize.

The lyrics also utilize time as a central motif. In the title cut, Stewart sings about a lonesome man holding hands with the clock, who aspires to discover transcendence throughout the minutia of a regimented banal rigmarole.

Hearkening back with “Sipsey,” Stewart longs for the brilliant untainted lens of an early twenty-something.

With “Heaven Knows Why,” he introspectively scours his vices for meaning and comes up short.

The speaker of County Seat constantly moves forward with hope through the chaotic 21st century South.

With this record, Stewart maintains the tradition of singing about the beauty of one’s homeland, while incorporating the less savory facets of the region’s past. In so doing, he offers a perspective from which to glean the value of the hope he offers.

Les Nuby engineered and mixed; Alex McCollough (John Prine, William Tyler) mastered.

The record puts you in the room with Stewart et al., and brings you the mixed bag of melancholy and exuberance of returning to a place you left behind.

Will Stewart’s County Seat promises, rallies, and delivers. A Son of the South returns home and shares his birthplace with a refined vision.

Will Stewart photo 3 by Wes FrazerWill Stewart | Photo Credit: Wes Frazer

Will Stewart has toured with or supported the following acts: William Tyler, Patrick Sweany, Lilly Hiatt, The Deslondes, Hiss Golden Messenger, Michael Nau, Skyway Man, Bloodkin, Tristen, Andrew Bryant, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Dead Fingers and Robert Earl Keen.

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