Friday - Jul 21, 2023 7:00PM
Will Stewart is no stranger here, playing several times with his World Famous Band and Willie & The Giant. Way Gone, the stirring new mini-album from Birmingham AL singer-songwriter-guitarist, Will Stewart, doesn't waste any time: In just 23 minutes, Stewarts follow-up to 2018s critically-acclaimed County Seat rips through six keenly-detailed portraits of restless, desperate souls with white line ferocity as if he's on a mission to chronicle the tales of these disparate nighthawks before the sun comes up.
Despite the rush, Way Gone somehow stops to smell the roses via revealing lyrics and softer tunes that belie deep, opposing tensions. This is most evident on Way Gones opening track and first single Southern Raphael: A late-night tale of dive bar flirtation propelled by taut rhythms and skittery guitars. The atmosphere is gradually thickened by subtle synths that rise and converge with the guitars until they burst into crescendo detonated by a lyrical twist thats either deeply romantic or utterly terrifying. Possibly both. Its like Cormac McCarthy writing lyrics for The Feelies which makes it both an outlier and a perfect way to kick off this gripping, novella-like collection of songs.