Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 29, 1975 · Page 101
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 101

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 29, 1975
Page 101
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John Stewart: excellent country, folk singer ByJ. P. Rool The minute the man took the stage at San Francisco's Boarding Hpuseat was obvious he knew what he was doing. He strode out, assured. When he opened his mouth to sing. it. was again obvious that he knew what he was doing. John' Stewart is an excellent country-folk-rock singer. His good looks, his stance, his stage presence all say "star." He writes his own material -- very good material -- and his voice comes out big and bold. Johnny Cash strong. It-all says "Star." So why isn't anybody listening? That is one of the mysteries of the rock music industry. Stewart records for RCA. The company has enough conviction in the singer to put him under exclusive contract and continue to release his records. They sell respectably, but they are not the "monster hits" they should be. Stewart keeps trying He's been in the business long enough to know that if you quit, you lose John Stewart was born in San Diego and brought up in Riverside and Pasadena. The son of a race horse trainer, he was turned on to music by Tex Ritter. The first instrument he played was the ukulele, though he later learned to play the guitar As a teenager, he formed a band called John Stewart and the Furies ancTcut a single called "Rocking Anna" for Vita Records. Stewart encountered folk music j while a student at Mi". San Antonio Jr'. College in Pomona and put together a three man 'group that played in" local clubs. In 1959 he went to a Kingston-Trio concert I and played a couple of his songs for the men. Stewart recalls: "They said, who has your publishing-and I said, hull 9 They said, sign right | here. It was that easy." The Trio recorded his "Molly Dee" and "Green Grasses." When the Kingston Trio's manager told Stewart that Roulette Records was lookingjor a folk act, he formed a trio with his old choir teacher from Pomona and a guy named John Montgomer. They rehearsed on the airplane to New York, Stewart says",- and got the contract. They recorded three albums as the Cumberland 3. A year later when Dave Guard I left the Kingston Trio, Stewart was asked to replace him. He did and remained with the band for seven years. After the Trio broke up (They've since re-formed -- without Stewart -- and will appear in Charleston at the Daniel Boonel July 30-Aug. 2), Stewart continued writing songs. He contributed "Daydream Believer" to the Mon-l keesi and several songs to his broth- J er Michael X band. We Five, He formed a duo with Buffy Ford I (she sings with him still) and cut a record for Capitol called "Signals Through the Glass." Of that period] Stewart says, "I had a whole revolutionary dream of theatricality. I visual music; I studied Andrew Wyeth paintings for a year, locked myself in my room with Wyeth John Stewart. prints, tried to play the colors he painted." After "Signals," he ejnbarked on a solo career, recording "California Bloodlines" in Nashville That was followed by the album "Willard," which featured such backup artists as James Taylor and Carole King. After the Capitol stint, he moved to Warner Brothers where he created "The Lonesome Picker Rides Again" and "Suhstorm." In 1972 he moved to RCA, which released his album, "Cannons in the Rain" in March 1973. Later, he produced one of the best albums of the rock era, "John ?sStewart, the Phoenix Concerts." · ! Last month, he released his latest album, "Wingless Angels." It, too, is fine. The "Phoenix Concerts" album, especially, is indicative of Stewart's art. The songs are finely crafted gems. There is a longing for a more simple time, a period of America that once lived but probably is gone now. His song "Campaign Trilogy" is a masterpiece. It concerns the campaign of Robert Kennedy for president, and it evokes of kind of love and respect that many felt for. the man. it's the type'of song that often doesn't work, but it.does here, magnificently. The a haunting refrain of, "Shoot all the wild horses and how will we ride?" It is chilling. He possesses a sense of humor, top, and realizes that much of his nature-loving, environment-appreciating music could be confused · with another popular singer's work. Perhaps that's why in one song he tosses off a parody line: "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me sweaty ..." A Rolling Stone critic said of Stewart's work: "The music arid lyrics of John Stewart are a part and parcel of rural Americana, but it's the Sherwood Anderson/Woody Guthrie type of fondness that Stewart evokes so expertly . Not since the halcyon days of Fred Neil have I heard such a combination of lyricism and melody and that transfuses the state of this country and codifies the: hurts and belly- laughs that are wrapped up in life and love.'/ If talent has anything to do with success --. and surely it must -John Stewart will continue to prosper. He deserves to be heard. Among rock concerts scheduled for Charleston during the summer months are these: July 13--ZZ Top and REA Speed- wagon July 30--Eagles (Dave Mason is tentative opening act) - Aug. 12-Jethro 'Ml Aug. 28--Eric Clapton (rescheduled) Tentative dates are being held for: Sept. 11--Doobie Brothers Sept. 28--Aerosmith. Tickets and further information may be obtained from Entam Ltd. ticket offices or the ticket window at Charleston Civic Center. Private Banquet Party Facilities- SCHRADER'S RESTAURANT 411 Va. St. W. Ph. 343-1903 f OUTDOOR COOKMC IS FUN WITH PALMER TOASTERS! SeaM-ln Flavor Makes The Difference This triple hot dog snack maker is ideal for^parties, camping, cook-outs and a fine addition to your regular kitchen utensils. Makes .three hot dog sandwiches at one time without wasting any ingredients and you get twice as many snacks per pound of wieners. ; Overall Length--27 inches, 18-inch handles Be The Fint To Get One--Now At.. TRIDENT 5702 MacCoifcfe Aw., S.W., Swth ( KELLEY Serving West Virginia Since 1958 :-.. 13701 West Washington Street Phone 744-4356 Charleston, West Virginia Remodeling Specialists Featuring Swimming Pools. Free Diving Board with each Pool Purchase. Blown Insulation Specialists r Aluminum Steel Siding * Porches Enclosures * Window Conversions * * Gutters * Added Levels * Room Additions * Garages BRIKHEATMG COST BACK, DOWN TO EARTH! SmasBuchas 30% .SOTo Your Heating and At^Conditioning Cost! Insulctewith Blown Thcmrtfon insulation Let us show you how you con insulate without any cost to you. 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