Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
There’s so many different sides to Gary Stewart that it’s difficult to keep up. Not only is Gary the gun-for-hire drummer who beats the blue blazers out of Hope and Social’s kit as well as that of other bands including Ellen and the Escapades, he has also enjoyed a stint as one Rosie Doonan’s blooming petals, in her much missed acoustic quartet The Snapdragons. Then there’s the spotlight that he often occupies as the diminutive figure of Paul Simon, taking on the entire Graceland album, possibly the greatest album of the 1980s, and he does it with such flair. A Scot by birth, Gary is more associated with his adopted home of Leeds and the thriving local music scene that surrounds him, carving out a name for himself not only as a music ‘doer’, but first and foremost as a singer songwriter, whose opportunities to deliver his own unique songs is perhaps getting slimmer in view of all his other pursuits. No matter, pen has once again met paper, chords have been developed, melodies constructed and here we have another solo offering from the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Oh My Weary World is a brand new collection of songs, each of which are delivered in Gary’s own distinctive voice, a voice he reserves for his own songs and quite different from the one he uses for “Boy in the Bubble” and “All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints” and everything in between. It’s a voice that fully suits the acoustic setting and the subjects he writes about. Melodic, well-structured and immediately accessible, songs such as “Crossing T’s”, “Love to Jupiter” and “Escher Sketches”, each showcase Gary’s pop/folk sensibilities, songs you are likely to remember.