Birmingham Sloss Fest profile: Will Stewart

Birmingham Sloss Fest profile: Will Stewart
Will Stewart spent time in Nashville honing his craft, then came back home to Birmingham and wrote his first full-length solo album. (contributed)

Performer: Will Stewart

Sloss Fest: Sunday, July 15, Seasick Stage, 4:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

Type of music: Americana

About: For Will Stewart, there is no place like sweet home Alabama.

He came back two years ago after spending years in Nashville developing his skills as a songwriter and a guitarist. Accolades for his work poured in from all over the world.

But home kept calling his name until he couldn’t tune her out any longer. He rolled back down South in March 2016, returning to Birmingham after more than a decade away. What he discovered inspired his first full-length solo debut, “County Seat.”

The album, released in April, is described by his publicist as a “guitar-fueled Americana record, caught somewhere between the worlds of country and electrified rock.”

“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.”

Stewart co-produced the album with Les Nuby, who also engineered and mixed the album.

Stewart will open for Robert Earl Keen at Iron City on June 27.

Discography: “County Seat” (2018).

You might have heard: “Heaven Knows Why” or “Back to Birmingham.”

For fans of: Kevn Kinney, Neil Young, Jason Isbell.

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

Sloss Music and Arts Festival takes place at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham July 14-15 and features more than 40 performers on four stages. Buy tickets here.

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