The pandemic hit Texas born, and Austin-based, Justin Stewart almost in stride.
“First 6 months were bleak. I was not ready to write but what else was I going to do? Call Me JT will come out in late 2022 and was a joy to create. I crowd funded the record through Kickstarter and found this too an invigorating experience. I hope you enjoy this wonderful record and come catch a show.”
“I grew up splitting my time between Houston, Galveston Island and Brazoria County. Lots of Ford 150’s in my childhood. I got to get me one of those new Lightning trucks. I started experimenting with music in junior high and then played in bands through college (Last Free Exit) and grad school (Buicks in the Fall) but it wasn’t until I lived on Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike that a vast voice surfaced. I was a contractor on the disaster circuit traveling the Gulf Coast working hurricanes and oil spills.” Enough subtraction led to Stewart’s first solo record, Flagship (2013) produced by Kevin Russell (Shinyribs/Gourds).
Stewart’s sophomore album, City Fox (2015) was produced by George Reiff (Joe Walsh, Jacob Dylan), and represents a gem that came from a 2014 west Texas residency building flood levees around the dusty border town of Presidio.
“I knew a metamorphosis had to occur for me to develop as a sustainable artist. I went back to the piano and my music started to opened up again. I rode a lot of horses in West Texas, one in particular that helped me on my way.”
Stewart’s third record, Renaissance was produced by Stephen Belans (Radney Foster, Billy Cassis). The February 2017 session was held at Ronjo Studio. Jim Vollentine was on engineering. The record was released in the spring of 2018.
“I wrote this record from my 100-year-old house in East Austin, an encouraging first for me. The songs lined up rather quickly and seemed accessible and relevant. During the recording session, I was on a little wall-piano and that opened up my voice some. We recorded it live, with everyone in the same room. It was a great vibe. Working with Stephen is great. All those guys are about the higher song, and idiosyncrasies that make your music unique. Those are the same things that make you want to keep writing and give you faith in artistic longevity.”
Call Me JT will be released at the end of 2022. It was recorded live at Electric Deluxe Recorders in November of 2021. Additional sessions were held at Brown Recluse Studio where it was deemed complete in the spring of 2022.
The record is produced by Michael Ramos (Paul Simon, Charanga Cakewalk) and engineering by Aaron Glemboski. Players include Glen Fukunaga, Chris Searles, Michael Ramos, David Grissom.