Much of our published creative output for the year past had to do with recognizing, honoring and paying tribute to those who have gone on before. (And it moved 7 songs developed from numerous squandered demos off our desk and into your ears.) Now it's time to move forward, and we have a wide variety of songs just waiting for finishing touches and final mixdown before we let them fly. Thank you, friends, fans, family and lissners for your interest, attention, comments and support. You keep us going strong.
Our 2020 offerings included these:
A song written the evening of Dec. 8, 1980, shortly after the composer heard the news of John Lennon's murder in NYC, was released exactly 40 years later. The official release date of the J. Lennon Blues was 12-8-20. For more details on this song, (Side A of the 'single'), and also Side B called the Nonnel J. Blues, (...it really IS the flip side!), see SONG INFO.
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As promised, (See Q&A from Kathleen), another two-sided single, the so-called ‘Richard songs’, came out almost a quarter century after being written. The Oct. 15 (2020) release of the updated and re-produced [Side A] Gone to Richard’s and [Side B] Thanks for Stoppin’ – Bye reflected exactly 25 years since local personalities Richard and his friend Junior both unexpectedly shuffled off this mortal coil, and the amazing double rainbow that appeared the next morning over the lakes. For more, see SONG INFO, and the great Q&A letter from Donna M.
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Three tracks released June 27, 2020: another two-sided single was comprised of a couple of horsie tunes, (instrumental and lyric version), and the third is a live recording and a STEWARDSONGS exclusive, not original but a cover tune. That track is NOT being sold in any form. It is presented for the non-commercial entertainment of our lissning audience. Brief backstories for all three on SONG INFO page.
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REDOS, DEMOS & ideas under construction:
Much of what we released in 2020 was reworked from old compositions – most that pre-dated both Farmhouse Garage and STEWARDS ECLECTRIC – but a lot of heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears went into those early recordings, and we decided to let lissners hear them. It was time for clearing the air, acknowledging what was and preparing for the 'new new' – new songs, new in-house recording tech, and new changes in the what-used-to-be lifestyle. We all have to do that. Onward.
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NEXT UP we have an energetic '70s-styled jukebox rocker, a 'lets hook up tonight!' song, AND an SE remake of of our first rock wannabe hit that streaked off the starting line, driven by the old Farmhouse Garage Band. We took that vehicle back to the pits, attended by the new SE crew and a new sponser. After a tune-up, realignment, gas and tires, it'll run good!
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Then, we’ll be heading back into the country for a couple. One is a shitkicker about making maple syrup in the backwoods north country. The other is a sentimental deer hunting yarn in the progressive country genre. Both are getting ready for the light of a new day.
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Another new vintage-style rock piece in the works pays homage to old rocks. (Can you say "Puma Punku"? No? How 'bout: "Big Horn Medicine Wheel?") Lyrics inspired by one of the all-time classic B&W movies – all speaking to the future. Is that possible? Check back to find out!
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We've got a light-hearted heavy-handed satire in the 'funk-jazz-rock' category, (yet another hybrid of 'recognized musical genres'.) So stand by to smell the sweet breezes of those tropical islands long fabled in song and story, and your well-deserved vacation to "Lissners Atoll" !
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And: another one of our popular 99.7% instrumentals with all the bells and whistles of a first class train ride on the left US coast: the Stewards Eclectric re-issue of A Ride on the Coast Starlight. We're re-fueling the loco, sweeping out the Pacfic Parlour Car and re-stocking the bar. Wait for the ALL ABOARD!
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singles COVER ARTWORK added
We've had inquiries from some wanting a closer look at the cover artwork for our singles, (a better view than the postage stamp size the players and some venues present), so we've added more hi-res cover artworks to PHOTO/ART GALLERY. Also, in conjunction with our 'Bowling Alley Rock' – a musical genre Spotify has yet to recognize! – we present: the evolution of the recording studio team Lefties bowling shirts, [Sasquatch, Hummingbird and WildBIRD Studios]; the cover version of the Championship trophy we finally won after 12 years of trying, (...of all the years to do it!...); and even the lost & found giveaway cassettes. What a shame Richard wasn't there to slap all us LEFTIES on the back – real freakin' HARD!
All photos and artwork © Copyright - Stephen H. Steward / Sky Camo Records
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A fan requested we reprint this, so with tongue inplanted in cheek(s), here it is, edited down to a more condensed form.
Everyone at the musicians’ consortium was amazed but not surprised when it was revealed that Director Steve ‘The Steward’ was to be honored as one of the first three inductees into the Unheralded and Independent Artists Now Here Hall of Fame. [Article follows]
U&I Artists Hall of Fame Ceremony Honors First Inductees
By Crow Byrdland McCaw [Excerpted. *See magazine for the full article.]
The first annual induction ceremony of the Unheralded and Independent Artists Now Here Hall of Fame, (otherwise known as U & I AR NOWHERE) was held on Feb. 3 at the former Covert City Masonic Temple. It had been previously determined likely that nominee Steve The Steward had played there to a sold-out crowd with his high school rock band, and initial promotional releases gave this as the reason for selecting the venue. It was later speculated that promoters could have yielded to a favorable rental agreement for the hall since they scheduled the inaugural event during the Super Bowl. If fact, this may also have limited RSVP-ers and others in attendance.
The ceremony got underway with a short film outlining the sanctioning body’s charter. It centered on revered impressionist Vincent Van Gogh , explaining that the lack of any acknowledgement from the art community (or even his family), let alone any monetary recompense for his work, was the source of most of his troubles - pre-ear debacle. The message being: when he was NOW HERE, he was NOWHERE - and never saw a cent of the millions paid for his art years beyond his lifetime. After this came various sound bites of the nominees while lucky patrons of the arts enjoyed a sumptuous dinner of creamed chicken and peas. As dessert was being served, (Neapolitan ice cream block on Nabisco graham wafer), examples of honorees’ best known works were exhibited, encompassing art, sculpture, railroad car graffiti and music. This was accompanied by one of Steward’s compositions, finishing in an extremely high decibel range.
Following the collection of complimentary disposable earplugs, Steve The Steward launched into a mercifully abbreviated acceptance speech, thanking family, teachers, mentors and friends. [*See complete article for details.]
In closing remarks, Steward hoisted above his head the U&I Hall of Fame statuette, the unique and coveted 'NowHere’. [For those unfamiliar, the physical award is constructed using a faux-marble base with the words NOWHERE HALL of FAME and the inductee’s name inscribed just below on a vague imitation of gold. Leading up from the base is a small pedestal with absolutely nothing above that.] The Steward then said wryly, “This – THIS is why we are all now here!” - and, releasing his left arm from its vertical position, dropped the ersatz Grammy doo-whammy to the stage, shattering it in a thousand pieces, (ala Cornell Professor Harlan Banks).
The audience gasped in surprise. A few nervous laughs, and one cough. Then cheers and laughter erupted from much of the audience, while holdouts glanced furtively here and there in mild disgust at what they thought should be considered bad taste. But truth and the majority ruled, resulting in wild applause that lasted for several seconds, followed by a standing ovation. It wasn’t noted until after two dozen of the not-quite-SRO crowd filed out of their seats that their rising was perhaps an attempt to get to the local Burger King before midnight, for, in honor of the first U & I AR NOWHERE Hall of Fame ceremony, (as well as the Superbowl), special arrangements had been made to serve breakfast menu all night.
*Reprinted with the kind permission of the publishers of Wasting Time Magazine, March 2019
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