Thankful

 

In the loss and struggle– there is an abundance to be thankful for. I was fortunate to have a loving grandfather who believed in me and everything that mattered to me. He left us in September, but in so many ways, I see that he remains and continues to influence and inspire the best in me.

Soon it was October, and less than a month remained until I would tie the knot with another important man in my life, my husband Steven Horton. We were married on the 20th out at a lovely farm in Rougemont, NC. A day filled with friends, family, sunshine, goats and chickens, incredible food and of course music by two of my beloved “boyfriends”… I never knew perfection existed until this day.

A mountain of inspiration has been building this year and awaits exploration. In all of this living and loving, there is rock music bands. I am forever thankful to all of you who listen to our little songs. I am thankful for folks who come out to hear us live and those who just happen to be somewhere were we are, enjoying their beer, finding themselves also enjoying our music.

As the year winds down, we look forward to many performances and finally getting to work on a full-band recording of our music. I feel more driven than ever to make this happen… We’ve finally got a legit website domain at stephstewart.net, and now we need a complete album. Stay tuned for more details as this project unfolds and find out how you can help us in the process.

Thanks for being a fan.

Yours,
Steph

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Curryblossom Bar

Dear Sweet Ones,

It is rare that a complete stranger will welcome you into her home. It is even more unusual for her to insist that you eat her divine cooking until you are full and then sent home with a heaping portion of leftovers. This incredible woman is Vimala Rajendran, and I join many others in celebrating the two-and-a-half year anniversary of her beloved restaurant, Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, and the grand opening of their new bar. I hope that you will join us in this celebration on SATURDAY, DEC. 15 @ Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe. We will kick things off at 9pm, followed by one of my new favorite local bands, Bevel Summers.

Bombay fingerfood + Beer&wine +Decadent cocktails + Bands + Dance party! —- What more could one want?

We’ve got some other exciting local shows on the horizon too. We hope you’ll catch us out at one of them.

Till then,
Steph

Meet Vimala:

 

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Adios 2012, Hello 2013!

This is the first year that I can recall not watching the infamous ball drop on New Years. I was certainly awake long into the waking hours of 2013, but for some reason, the lowering of a giant, glittering spectacle in the heart of Times Square seemed unappealing in comparison to the depths of the conversation my husband and I shared. For a fleeting moment, I worried that missing this ritual would suffer some sort of emptiness, but then I came back to our conversation and realized this was of much greater importance. In all of the many resolutions I have made, keeping myself in the present moment is likely both the most significant and yet difficult to honor.

I’m not giving up though. Even as I contact venues and festivals about future shows we hope to play. Even as I scold myself for not practicing the banjo yet (yes… another resolution!). Even as I look at myself in the mirror each night before going to bed and find yet ANOTHER gray hair. Even now as I write you, dear listener and at the same moment reflect upon what 2012 has meant for the Steph Stewart & the Boyfriends project.

What a year it was! Many memories, gigs and a few new tunes, and through everything that passed in 2012, I couldn’t be more grateful for where we are now and excited for what is to come yet in 2013….. Resolution #3- record a full-length album. You’d better believe this is the year for it. I’ve been scheming long enough and figured out it’s really true: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Time to make some history. This hair’s only getting grayer.

So, it’s now or never.

Speaking of resolution #1, thank you, dear listener for listening. If you’re still there, I’d love to know what is in-store for you in this new beginning. Before signing off to help Steven with dinner, I’ve got some pics from one of our favorite high lights of 2012: Awendaw Green. We look forward to a return trip in June.

With gratitude,

Steph

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Awendaw Green

We were fortunate enough to play Awendaw Green back in December. Over 100 folks came out to enjoy our music on a Wednesday night … outside! That’s a community that truly values music. Long live Awendaw Green. Can’t wait till we’re back.

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Thanks for the Tip

There are many reasons why I love Saxapahaw, but if you want to know what they all have in common, it’s community. Every time I go there, I get this feeling like they all care about one another. They’ve got each other’s backs… and I know, any time I play music there, it’s gonna be good.

Folks in that town genuinely listen and value good music. For the past two times I’ve had the pleasure of playing the Eddy Pub, we’ve been filled to the brim with incredible food and almost had money jumping out of our tip jar because there just wasn’t enough room to stuff it all in. You just don’t know how special you are. And to the anonymous diner who has twice left us a $100 bill, you’re the icing on top of an extremely delicious cake. Each time I have seen that tightly rolled bill, assuming it was a one, only to smooth it out, hold it up to the light, and realize that someone would actually do that…. well, it almost makes me cry because it’s just the kind of thing my grandfather would have done.

 

We’re getting really busy soon, and we would love to see you all again at some upcoming shows. Dates in NC, VA, and TN on the horizon!

Feb 15 @ 7pm– The White Hart Cafe– Lynchburg, VA (duo show) **** JUST ADDED****

Feb 16 @ 2-5pm– Cross Keys Vineyards– Mt. Crawford, VA (duo show)

Feb 22 @ 9pm– The Kraken– Chapel Hill, NC– *With The Ayr Mountaineers *

Feb 23 @ 8pm– The Green Bean– Greensboro, NC

Feb 27 @ 8pm– MotorCo– Durham, NC– *Supporting The Last Bison, Tickets: $10* (duo show)

March 8 @ 10pm– Clay Street Tavern– Mebane, NC

March 16 @ 9pm– Happy St. Patty’s, Cranberries Cover Band!– The Casbah– Durham, NC

March 21 @ 8pm– Women’s History Month Showcase @ The Casbah– Durham, NC

March 23 @9pm– The Birdsnest– Davidson, NC– $10 Advance, $15 Door

March 29 @ 9:30pm– The LAB– Asheville, NC

March 30 @ 10:30pm– Foothills Brewery– Winston-Salem, NC

April 4 @ 12pm– WDVX Blue Plate Special– Knoxville, TN

April 4 @ 8pm– Barley’s Taproom– Knoxville, TN

April 26 @ 7pm– RA Fountain General Store– Fountain, NC

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Betty White

I’ve got four hens. Their names are Betty White, Rue, Bea and Estelle. To most, they’re just cluck old hens except Rue who is still laying eggs. To me, they are “egg-septional”… sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Let me tell you why. Meet Betty White:

About three years ago, Betty was my friend George’s chicken at ‘Lil Farm. My friend was soon moving his entire operation and slaughtering all his laying hens before the move. Betty was one of about ten that George gave me to have out at my husband’s farm with the hens he had. In the near three years Betty lived on his farm, she did just that: LIVED! Most of the others in her flock could not say the same; foxes, owls and hawks picked off nearly every single one.

I wish I could see how she did it. Watching her in our backyard with my overly eager dog, I’d say she knows how to hold her ground. She charges at my 50 lb. mutt and stares him down until he runs off, tail between his legs. I have no doubts; she’d win if they ever got out of their fences.

Equally impressive as her courage is Betty’s sheer sense of compassion. Our housemate got some pullets last summer and kept them separate from the big gals… that’s how most folks do it. When I was farming, pullets would occasionally wind up in the big girls’ pen. Bad news… Their visit was always brief as dozens of full-grown laying hens were sure to peck them down and run them off… So our housemate’s chickens escaped their pen and wandered into the big girls’ coop. Pecking order was quickly established, but the young chicks stayed on living there happily. One mysteriously disappeared, but the other- Lulu- will soon be laying her own eggs.

At night, they all roost on top of their coop and brooding Betty is always sure to tuck no-longer-little Lulu under her wing. She even fends off the others if they get too feisty with Lulu.

Last week I joined three incredibly talented female musicians for a Women’s History Month writers in the round. We remind me a lot of my hens, especially Betty White. In a world where competition thrives rampantly, it was a true pleasure to share the stage with Melissa Swingle (a living legend in my book), Skylar Gudasz and Crystal Bright and bask in the spotlight of their brilliance.

Tour de Jour:

3/29– The LAB | Asheville, NC– $6

3/30– Foothills Brewing Co. | Winston Salem, NC

4/4– The Blue Plate Special | Knoxville, TN– Live at Noon on WDVX

4/4– Barley’s Taproom | Knoxville, TN

4/5– Green Heron Club | Danbury, NC

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Down on the Corner

Asheville is easily one of my most beloved cities. Fresh mountain air, friendly folks, delicious cuisine, streets literally filled with music… there are many reasons to fall in love. We kicked off our spring tour with a Friday night show at the LAB Back Stage, a quaint but modern listening room tucked away at the back of the bustling brewery. Saturday was slow and warm, waking up in a cozy home and filling our bellies with tasty viddles from Early Girl Eatery (absolutely worth the wait!).
In hopes of filling up our gas tanks for our evening show at Foothills Brewery, we busked the street corner of College and Haywood for a solid hour. Hustlin’ ain’t easy, but this time it proved both fruitful and fun!

Thanks to Martin Grove of Asheville Street Music for the live video:

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Home is where the Heart Roams

If I couldn’t live in North Carolina, you could probably find me somewhere in Tennessee … not too far from Knoxville… because each time I’m there, I feel like I’m home again. Not “home” in the sense of weary restlessness that you yearn to view from your rear view mirror until it’s so far away you can only see the unknown but home– like when the world’s run you ragged and the only place that makes you feel like yourself again scoops you up and loves you. That’s what Knoxville is like. We are grateful for friends like Molly, who gave up her own home so that we could all stay at the same place and have comfort and being back on theBlue Plate Special with folks who filled the place out despite the cold rain. You warmed our hearts. Oh, and if you’ve never had to worry about a gluten and dairy allergy, you might not understand this, but know that our sweet bassist Nick never had so many options when we were out to eat (even Barley’s had a gluten-dairy-free pizza!). We were most impressed by the kind folks out at the Green Heron who actually bought gluten free beer just for Nick! That definitely does not happen every day, and we are eager for our upcoming return to play for these lovely folks again. The owner truly values original music, and people are there for the music first— the drinks second.

Spring has warmed our skin and brightened our spirits, and we couldn’t be more excited that our first full length record is finally happening. We’ve been recording with Nick at his studio in Chapel Hill, and our hard work is really coming through. Our release party is set for JUNE 21 (happy summertime, ya’ll!) at my favorite local venue, the Casbah in Durham, NC. If you want to find out more about the process and how you can help fund the album, please check out the Kickstarter project we just launched today:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1973346877/steph-stewart-and-the-boyfriends-a-record-tour-and?ref=activity

Until next time!

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