Will Stewart’s County Seat, coming out on Cornelius Chapel Records April 6th, explores the modern South through an interpersonal lens while reaching into it's complicated past, and present. As American Songwriter’s Brittney McKenna says “[County Seat] explores the complicated tangle of Stewart’s Southern roots, blending nostalgia and reverence with a stark awareness of the region’s dark, flawed past.” Rolling Stone called Stewart an Artist To Watch in January saying his "jangling album opener "Sipsey" evokes the unspoiled Alabama wilderness, contrasted against Stewart's desire to maintain a sense of wonder as he grows older."
On the nostalgic first single from County Seat, “Sipsey”, Stewart longs for the wonder and innocence of young adulthood. “The title references a place in northwest Alabama called Sipsey Wilderness Preserve,” Stewart says. “I wanted to use that as a sort of visual, tangible anchor to otherwise vague, impressionistic lyrics. I also just like the way it sounds. But overall, the song is about trying to recapture the sense of awe, wonder and abandon — and maybe innocence, to a lesser degree — of young adulthood, coming to realize that things that were once inconsequential in youth are now the only things that matter.”
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 band — 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.
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.
County Seat Track Listing
3. Brush Arbor
4. Otis In The Morning
5. Heaven Knows Why
6. Dark Halls
7. Equality, AL
8. County Seat
9. Mine is A Lonely Life
For More information contact Daniel Cooper (Daniel@luckybirdmedia.com)
Will Stewart Tour Dates
08/14-15/18 - Sloss Fest - Birmingham, AL