SJ McArdle released his new album Blood and Bones in 2011.
Accompanying the album release was some significant media attention and reviews and a very successful Irish tour, culminating in an appearance at Electric Picnic. So far in 2012 he has performed live on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM and played a triumphant set at Vantastival.
Songs from the album had already garnered considerable Irish airplay as well as TV promos for Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy.
The songs were recorded in
Nashville and feature contributions from some of SJ’s heroes like Rodney Crowell, guitarist Richard Bennett (Steve Earle’s ) and the Love Sponge Strings (Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising). Guitar Town
The result is a stew of roots, pop and rock, with some truly unexpected twists.
Stewart Agnew is one of Ireland’s most refined singer songwriters, Stewart Agnew, is emerging from his self-imposed musical exile clasping a clutch of AOR masterpieces to his chest in the shape of his third album, Hello Bright Spark (Trick Records), which will be released on 30 September, simultaneously with the single, "Look How The Stars Turn On".
With initial writing and pre-production sped along by contributions from Lou Natkin and Paul Wilkinson, Stewart headed into the studio in May 2011. Renowned producer Roger Bechirian (The Undertones, Elvis Costello,
X1) took control of the console and in a whirlwind of eighteen studio days in the depths of leafy Westmeath the 10 songs that resulted offer slivers of magic and moments of sublime comfort. All of which makes for an album of light, optimism and progression that can’t fail to appeal, both musically and lyrically, to the broadest possible audience. Bell
Agnew has expanded on the palate suggested by his previous albums (Tailor Made and, more recently, Songs From The Gasstation) displaying a pop-nous and songwriting maturity previously only glimpsed at.
In an era of insanely accelerated pop careers burnouts and X-factor pot-celebrity the Hello Bright Spark harks back to an era when craft, time and emotion meant so much more.
Video - Stewart Agnew: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Eubbh191mU&feature=player_detailpage
Video - SJ McArdle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=olC0QJBrc2U
Video – SJ & Stewart in rehearsal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhx6d7BxHzI&feature=player_detailpage