Ian Stewart is a guitarist, songwriter, singer and producer, best known for his work with Strangeways. With them he was responsible for ‘Native Sons’ and ‘Walk In The Fire’, which are both classic albums in the AOR genre. However don’t expect anything similar on this solo album which he describes as ‘rock music for grown-ups’. Ian grew up listening to everything from Hank Williams to classical to jazz, then later Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin and many others, although those influences are hardly recognizable on this album. Instead ‘Junk DNA’ has a more hypnotic elegance that demands a lot of imagination from the listener as the songs are mostly based on repetitive rhythms. Although with the soft voice of Stewart this sometimes reminds me of Marillion and needs indeed several spins to grow into. This is music for the sophisticated listener which demands time to focus on, which once in a while is not a bad idea in today’s warp-speed world.
Ian James Stewart
Friday, November 8, 2013