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Will Stewart

Birmingham, AL


Manager

Travis Morgan | travmo@gmail.com

Label

Cornelius Chapel Records

Wes McDonald | wes@corneliuschapelrecords.com

Publicity

Luckybird Media

Daniel Cooper | daniel@luckybirdmedia.com

Radio

Angela Backstrom Promo

Angela Backstrom | angelabackstrompromo@gmail.com


current release

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County Seat

Released 4.6.18 | Listen


Bio

In March 2016, Will Stewart headed back home to Alabama.

He'd been away for years, living in Nashville while earning his stripes as a songwriter, frontman, and lead guitarist. His fans reached as far away as London, where The Guardian — one of the U.K.'s most widely-reached papers — hailed his work.

Still, something kept drawing him down South. He'd grown up there, surrounded by the twang of classic country music and the stomp of rootsy rock & roll. Alabama was a complicated place, its (bio continued) history filled with dark characters and cultural clashes, but it was oddly compelling, too. It was home. Unable to resist the pull, Stewart returned to Birmingham. There, after a decade away, he rediscovered his muse: the Modern South, whose characters, complexities, open spaces, and strange beauty are all channeled into Stewart's full-length solo debut, County Seat.

Released in 2017, County Seat is a guitar-fueled Americana record, caught somewhere between the worlds of country and electrified rock. The songs are roomy and lush,  the result of an inspired — led by Stewart, who handles singing and guitar-playing duties — whose members recorded all nine tracks in two short days. There are swirls of swooning pedal steel, layers of vocal harmony, and the pastoral punch of a songwriter looking to turn the landscape of his home state into music. Close your eyes while playing songs like "Brush Arbor," whose title references Dennis Covington's Salvation on Sand Mountain, and you'll hear Stewart's Alabama home.

County Seat is also a record about time. On the album's title track, Stewart sings about a lonely man in his twilight years, hoping to find some sort of transcendence from an otherwise mundane, day-to-day life. During the nostalgic "Sipsey," Stewart longs for the wonder and innocence of young adulthood. And with "Heaven Knows Why," he takes a look at his own vices, realizing the hour has come to leave some of those habits behind. Like Stewart's own move back to Birmingham, County Seat finds its narrator in constant motion, hoping to weather the mysteries and murkiness of the 21st century South by holding on to a shred of hope.

Co-produced with Les Nuby (who also engineered and mixed the album) and recorded in a series of live takes, County Seat nods to a number of songwriters who sing about the beauty of their homeland without glossing over its imperfections. There are electrified moments influenced by Neil Young, guitar arpeggios suited for R.E.M., turns-of-phrase worthy of Bob Dylan, and the modern-day folksy charm of Hiss Golden Messenger. On an album that evokes some heavy starpower, though, Will Stewart shines the brightest. This is his first full-length release as a solo artist: a rallying cry from a Son of the South who, having returned home after a long trip, looks at his birthplace with renewed eyes.

Will Stewart has toured 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.


notable press

“Sipsey” has 88k plays on Spotify

Bandcamp featured County Seat as New & Notable.

He has performed at SXSW, SouthSounds, Sloss Fest and Secret Stages.

The album was recorded by Lester Nuby (St. Paul & The Broken Bones) and mastered by Alex McCollough (William Tyler, John Prine).


Selected Press

Writing about [Alabama] and its people with empathy and insight, Stewart marries these dark intimations of dislocation and uncertainty to a breezy country-rock sound.
— Uncut (★★★★★★★★☆☆ 8/10)
It’s a short but sweet cover tune book-ending the album and one of the purest examples that come to this writer’s recent memory of the term “less is more”. The stripped-back, emotionally-layered nature of Stewart’s arrangement almost has it feel more in-line with the indie folk of a Conor Oberst or Elliott Smith than a straight-laced cover of a country classic. Either way, Stewart paints himself not only as a brilliant songwriter on his album but a brilliant arranger of songs in his new take on Tubb’s tune.
— PopMatters
The guitars are sultry but slick, and the mood is heavy but laid-back.
— Flood Magazine
While some albums are about the high production value, this album shows how beneficial a lightly produced album can be when you have strong lyrics and great music...He is a brilliant songwriter, with a great voice. He is someone that deserves high praise for his distinguishable talent he is someone that should go far.
— Americana UK
What struck us immediately from the alt-country artist Will Stewart were his Dan Auerbach style road worn vocals. We could literally hear him sing anything, and we would be compelled to cover him. His sound is at both times mature, as well as childlike. He bounces through memory with a refreshing nostalgia that continues to make us fall in love with his memorable sound.
— Ear To The Ground
Steel guitars, pensive lyrics with just enough touches of melancholy humanity make County Seat a good emotional listen whether you’re sittin’ on a porch in Alabama or a bus stop in Detroit.
— Old Rookie

Tour History

9/15 - “Land Aid” - Avondale Brewing Co. - Birmingham, AL - Headlined festival - 900 ppl

9/7 - The Nick - Birmingham, AL - 200 total attendance

9/6 - Schroeder’s - Rome, GA - 80 ppl

9/5 - The Block off Biltmore - Asheville, NC - 60 ppl

9/4 - The Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN - 50 ppl

9/2 - The Burl - Lexington, KY - 65 ppl

9/1 - Grimey’s In-Store - Nashville, TN - 45 ppl

8/30 - Hi-Tone - Memphis, TN - 150 ppl

8/29 - The Four Quarter - Little Rock, ARK - 70 ppl

8/28 - Main at Southside - Ft. Worth, TX - 65 ppl

8/27 - Stay Gold - Austin, TX - 50 ppl

8/26 - Circle Bar - NOLA, LA - 35 ppl

8/25 - Callaghan’s - Mobile, AL - 125 ppl

8/2 and 8/3 - “Secret Stages” at Saturn - Birmingham, AL - 350 ppl

7/15 - Sloss Fest - Birmingham, AL - 1,500 ppl

6/27 - Iron City - Opening for Robert Earl Keen - Bham, AL - 700 ppl

6/15 - Nashville Palace - Nashville, TN - 200 ppl

5/23 - Raleigh, NC - House Show - 45 ppl

5/22 - Cat’s Cradle - Carrboro, NC - 70 ppl

5/21 - The Ramkat - Winston-Salem, NC w/Jake Fussell - 60ppl

5/20 - Standard Deluxe - Waverly, AL - 80 ppl

5/19 - House Show - ATL, GA - 60ppl

5/18 - Seasick Records - Bham, AL - 80 ppl

5/12 - The Nick - Bham, AL - 150 ppl

5/3 - The Nick w/Liz Brasher - Bham, AL - 120 ppl

4/12 - South Sounds Festival - Mobile, AL - 600 ppl

4/7 - Huntington, WV - V Club - 300 ppl

4/6 - Weathered Ground Brewery - Cool Ridge, WV - 120 ppl

4.5 - Gene’s - Morgantown, WV - 80 ppl

4/4 - Gypsy Sally’s - Washington, D.C. - 40 ppl

4/3 - Sly Grog Lounge - Asheville, NC - 50 ppl

4/1 - Arcana - Durham, NC - 65 ppl

3/31 - Hardywood Brewery - Richmond, VA - 250 ppl

3/30 - Wilmington, NC - Satellite - 140 ppl

3/29 - Blue Plate Special - Knoxville, TN - 60 ppl

3/28 - Dee’s Cocktail Lounge - Nashville, TN - 55 ppl

3/27 - 5 Spot - Nashville, TN - 150 ppl

3/16 - Government Street Grocery - Ocean Springs, MS - 75 ppl

3/15 - The Townsend (SXSW) - Austin, TX - 80 ppl

3/13 - Main at SouthSide w/Michael Nau - Ft. Worth, TX - 130 ppl

3/12 - Druid City Brewing Co. - Tuscaloosa, AL - 100 ppl

3/10 - Firehouse w/ Michael Nau - Birmingham, AL - 140 ppl

2/24 - 116 E Mobile - Florence, AL - 60 ppl

2/22 - Zydeco w/India Ramey - Bham, AL - 120 ppl

2/17 - The Nick w/Bloodkin - Bham, AL 250 ppl

1/16 - Syndicate w/ The Deep Dark Woods - Bham, AL - 120 ppl