Justin Stewart


Texas Platters

Justin Stewart's immaculate and playful pop sensibility belies the punch of the songs on third LP Renaissance. The songwriter bounces through piano tunes sparked by a stellar local backing that includes Bukka Allen, John Michael Schoepf, and Geoff Queen, but like Harry Nilsson, the result rings deeper than the surface waggishness. Opening triptych "Texas Fatmucket," "Saint Paul," and the title track spin out Stewart's scratchy drawl, languid wordplay, and surprising melody twists. "Lucynda" lilts with galloping rhythms that evoke early Paul Simon, while "Nod of Knowing" sweeps the country dance hall floor and "Jesus #9" kicks like John Prine. Even the cover of Don Williams' cheesy "I Believe in You" works with Stewart's style, especially next to deep album gem "Yellow Umbrella." With Renaissance, Stewart steps up into an elite tier of local songwriters even if his eclectic sound makes him difficult to pin down.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Justin Stewart
Texas Platters
Justin Stewart
City Fox (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, July 15, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
Fifth Annual KOKEFEST Brings Clint Black and More to Hutto
Fifth Annual KOKEFEST Brings Clint Black and More to Hutto
Two-day lineup includes Turnpike Troubadours, Robert Earl Keen, Aaron Watson, and more

Aug. 5, 2022

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Kate Bush Bash, Urban Heat, Knife in the Water, Night Cap, Adrian Ruiz, and Shimmer Island

July 29, 2022


Justin Stewart

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle