Roy Stewart: Ode To The Working Man
Roy Stewart released his all original, ten track album, Ode to the Working Man, on December 7, 2018. All songs on the record are written by Roy and recorded, engineered and mixed by Cliff Swanhart in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The album features Roy Stewart on vocals and electric guitar, Cliff Swanhart on the drums and backing vocals, Jason D. Smith keeping everyone in line on the bass, Brian Batten with the sweet sound of the steel guitar and resonator and Gary Braddy on the harmonica. Ode to the Working Man is a mix of country, funk, rock, and soul that comes from Stewart’s background and roots.
Music for musicians typically runs through many generations of family and friends. The exposure to music for Roy happened in that manner. His father was a musician and Roy started playing professionally with his dad at the age of sixteen or seventeen in a local house band when time permitted. “Again, my Dad who always pushed me to be a well-rounded musician, meaning he wanted me to be a picker (lead and rhythm), singer (lead and harmony), and a songwriter.” Stewart’s influences come from Willie, Waylon, and the Hag. But, he is also a huge fan of Southern Rock such as The Allman Bros Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Super Grit Cowboy Band. Soul music and unique North Carolina “Beach Music” also played a heavy influence on Roy Stewart’s sound.
Growing up, Roy’s father played an abundance of soul music and a constant diet of oldies from Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter, as well as Presley, Holly, and Berry. Those influences can be directly be heard and associated with Ode to the Working Man. Another direct influence on Roy Stewart’s music is “Beach Music.” “What may be unique about NC is what is called “Beach Music” and no I ain’t talking about The Beach Boys. Our Beach music is derivative of R&B and Soul and has a specific dance called the “Shag” that goes with it and it is huge market in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.” This influence can be attributed to the swing and boogie woogie sound that you can hear in Roy’s music and on this album, Ode to the Working Man.
Roy Stewart’s Ode to the Working Man is a ten-song album about his personal life, his family life and friends. The album is intended to be sort of a tribute to the common working folks who try to live, love, and improve the world in which they live in. “Man, I still have a day job, my dad always had a day job. Pops passed away two years ago, and I really just wanted to do an album thanking him for showing me the ropes and allowing me the means to have a second job that I love, and I am passionate about, to help make ends meet for my family.” Ode to the Working Man was made by a working man, for working folks. The tribute is clear. The musical influences on the album can be heard throughout the recording.
Roy Stewart is a talented, hardworking, independent musician that embodies exactly what The Oklahoma Reviews is all about. Roy is a well-rounded musician. He can pick, he can sing, and he can sure as shit write some damn fine tunes. He has masterfully written and released a record that has flown under the radar. If you like the sweet sounds of the steel guitar, slide guitar, some rhythm and some blues, some soul with your cup of joe, some country with your biscuits and gravy, then this album needs to be in your rotation. Ode to the Working Man is a magnificent work of non-fiction, as all songs on this album are the result of experiences in the life of Roy Stewart. Give it a quick sample on the Spotify. Then go support Roy Stewart and Independent Music by ordering a copy directly from the source.
Biography information and quotes from Roy Stewart are courtesy of our friends at Dark Horse Music Review.