As musicians, if we are lucky we get to listen and be influenced by a great amount of bands and artists throughout of our lives. When we choose to go and chase after a career in the music industry, all these different styles that we have grown to love get to pretty much define our sound. Sometimes in a really subtle way, but then there are those that basically just become a mimic, a copy/paste version of another act.
Gregg Stewart has been in the scene for quite a long time, either writing with or producing other artists. Throughout his career he has had plenty of time to chop his skills and a very good example of this can be found on his new self-titled album.
“R Is For Rockstar” kicks off the record. Largely influenced by singers like Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stone, Stewart hides none of this on this particular track. Filled with upbeat, playful melodies and vocals – the song is surely to get you up your chair and shake your body.
Moving on, “Let’s Go Find A Night” pretty much sets the tone of the rest of the album. While at first sight Gregg might look like a badass rocker, his soul is in the Americana/Indie realm. There’s still some touches of rock and roll throughout the material, especially in songs like “Stone Cold Fox”, though at end his Roots, well, roots, defines most of the sound of the record. You can catch on some great Hank Williams Jr. and even Johnny Cash early stuff.
If there’s anything negative thing to say about the album, it would be that most of the time it feels very old school, which usually I wouldn’t have too much of an issue with. Sadly on this case it does bugs me as Gregg doesn’t bring any modern or exciting twists onto this tracks, so it feels like he’s playing way too safe. Following my comment in the first paragraph, it feels like he’s trying to imitate and be just exactly as other artists he admires rather than himself. Again, that’s really sad, cause very underneath you can hear a great and talented musician trying to get out.
Criteria - 70%
Overall, if you really dig 60s Rock and Roll soft scene and ole' good Country and Americana, then this is a perfect album for you. For the rest of us, let us hope his cover album does improve and may fix some of the flaws on this material.