‘My Ohio‘ is taken from Benya Stewart’s new EP ‘Headway’, which has just been released. The Athens Ohio singer-songwriter acknowledges inspiration and influence from the poetry and finger styles of Nick Drake, James Taylor, Fionn Regan and Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience), but is equally deeply affected by his study and interest in old-time music from throughout the Appalachian mountains. He told us a little about the making of the EP: “I decided to craft this EP because I wanted to experiment with live recording to tape for the intimate vintage vibe I love so much (I was thinking in particular about Nick Drake’s classic Pink Moon). With a tour to Maine and Ukraine approaching quickly but my full-length release needing more time in production, there were plenty of reasons to bust out a little EP to take on the road with me. So once Ethan Bartman (guitarist in Water Witches, Athens OH) confirmed he could fit me in, I put everything I had into practicing these four songs. I feel strongly that these tracks are a great introduction to my solo music for new listeners. My Ohio in particular has been my anthem for almost a year now, since writing it in August of 2020–it is a song about coming home to myself, and staying true to my dreams and passions. It marks the moment in my life when I began to dramatically shift gears back towards pursuing my art after a long hiatus. It also forecasts the concept of the whole EP; each song in its own way documents a part of my processing as I lean more and more into a focus on my creativity as a lifestyle.”
Having endured the recent restrictions Benya Stewart has a pretty exciting end of the year lined up – resuming touring initially in Maine as onboard entertainment on a three-mast schooner for a week he’ll then make his way to Lviv, in western Ukraine, participate in an artist residency with musicians from Appalachia, Ukraine and Belarus. So – there is some glamour left in music!
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