In the half-filled, dimly lit Great Scott —- a staple of Boston’s Alternative and Rock scene -— Australian singer/songwriter takes the stage, with nothing but his worn guitar in his hands. Stu was just starting his tour that would take him across North America, the United Kingdom, and almost every country in Western Europe, ending in his native Australia.
At first glance, Stu looks like a wild, unkempt Australian man with a funky hat. It’s not until you hear his voice do you realize the depth and complexity of this talented musician. Stu is a man of a thousand journeys, talents, and words. His songs are simple, yet powerful and exude an air of warm familiarity. Stu rather describes his music as “simple, emotive folk songs,” embracing themes of loss, love, wanderlust, travel, individuality, friendship, and more. Its difficult to hear Stu’s songs and not feel at peace.
Stu is a professional wanderer. He has played thousands of shows in hundreds of cities and dozens of countries, making friends along the way, documenting and photographing his experiences, shooting his own music videos and album covers. He is a force of nature when it comes to touring, often renting a van in each country he plays and driving from show to show alone, his guitars his ever-patient companions.
Stu’s performances have something not every band can foster. Pure authenticity. They are minimalistic works of art, with Stu often the only person on the stage; and yet— when he begins to strum his guitar and sing his timeless melodies, the stage falls away and the room is full of life, color, and warmth. The audience is taken on a jovial, pensive, cleansing journey, swaying and dancing to what seems like an unlimited fountain of original music. After shows, Stu hops right into the audience to meet folks, often spending 10 or 15 minutes conversing with fans as if they were old friends.
The Australian singer/songwriter played music from all of his previous albums, mostly playing from his most recent album, Resolute, which was released just over one month ago. The show was all in all a wonderful, heartwarming experience, like a conversation with old friends and new. If Stu finds his way into your city, do yourself a huge favor and attend a show of his. You won’t regret it.
I had a chance to interview Stu before the show, and talk to him about his musical journey and his travels. You can listen to the podcast below: