Thousands of bar gigs in the making, this beautifully crafted debut from Dunfermlineâ€™s Stevie Agnew is a feast of human-size tales of working-class struggle, war, loss, regret, love and bare-knuckle boxing.
Stevie really had little choice about his future career! Still inspired by his father, Pete Agnew of rock legendsÂ Nazareth, Stevie recalls,Â “Growing up, there were always guitars, basses and drums around the house.Â Music was everywhere, it just seemed naturalâ€.Â Stevie got his first guitar for his 6th birthday and hasn’t stopped playing since.
Honouring his fatherâ€™s influence, Stevie said“I’ve gotta thank him, many sons put on their fatherâ€™s shoes and go to workâ€¦ I just did the same.Â
Stevie was hooked early on rock ‘n’ roll and in particular, Bruce Springsteen.Â â€œFor me, Springsteen is as good and as big as it gets, heâ€™s got it all, great lyrics, great structure, open, frank, honest and musical. He sets the standard.”
For the past 20 years, Stevie has gigged relentlessly around his native Scotland, playing and singing solo and for many different bands, gripping audiences with his gravelly baritone, tellingly described as â€˜a cocktail of grit and Drambuie.â€™
Wreckinâ€™ YardÂ is written with drummer Chris Smith.Â â€œWe shared our ideas and, for the most part, Chris wrote the lyrics and I wrote the tunes. It took meeting Chris to find my sound. I have written and released songs before, but they just didnâ€™t sit well with me. In â€˜Wreckinâ€™ Yardâ€™ I know where Iâ€™m headed because I can see where Iâ€™ve beenâ€.
Wreckinâ€™ YardÂ features 13 original Americana story songs. The musicianship is superb and the lyrics are poetic and considered. Have your hankies ready forÂ Winter RainÂ andÂ Heavy Duty,Â sombre affairs dealing in turn with the loss of a partner to cancer and the futility of war.Â The PugilistÂ (The Ballad of Maxie Mann)tells the story of a bare-knuckle boxer from Birmingham. The album has a distinct Country Blues feel with guitars, harmonica, fiddles, banjos, pedal steel and Dobro; there are also two wonderful duets and a fishing tale for good measure.