ian  james  stewart 

Junk DNA


By Rick Tilley (Metal Discovery)

You may not know the name Ian James Stewart, but you may well have heard of Strangeways, the fabulous band he has played guitar and been chief songwriter for since the 1980s. Ian is also a multi-instrumentalist, producer and vocalist and 'Junk DNA' is a solo album full to the brim with atmosphere and emotion; in fact, it feels like he really put his heart and soul into recording this.

Read more: Metal Discovery Review

By High Voltage

' Junk DNA ' by Ian James Stewart is totally groovy in a kick ass way. The title track is music built on a lack of constraint in regards to conventional genres. It's unique and yet familiar. It's got rock, jazz, blues, funk, and more and yet it's non of those at all. It's almost like Ian is the Bruce Lee of whatever it is he's decided to create here. Listen to the title track or ' Slow Burn Dance ' for a taste of the goodness available. The bottom line is that this isn't something you should be figuring out. It's something you simply crank up and enjoy. It's feel good music and that's good enough for us.

Read more: High Voltage Review

By Rob McKenzie (Roktopia Magazine)

Laid back with a warm feel and full of carefully crafted and varied songs.

Ian James Stewart will be known to the Rocktopia readership as the guitarist of Strangeways. Stewart has just released 'Junk DNA' in which he sings, plays bass and keyboards and obviously the guitar. Although joined by guest musicians including his brother David on bass, this is very much a personal and individual album which I suspect has been a labour of love.

Read more: Roktopia Review

By Metallized (Italian)

Già chitarrista del combo scozzese Strangeways, autori di un buon AOR, Ian James Stewart ha realizzato alcune prove soliste per dare sfogo alla propria creatività senza muri o castrazioni. Questo Junk Dna è la sua nuova fatica atta a testimoniare produttività e varietà di influenze e gusti. 13 tracce, che spaziano in ambiti musicali disparati, tutti trattati con una maturità notevole e con derive nitide in chiave pop, ambient, new age, rock e soft jazz. Insomma è meglio chiarirlo subito, questa è una release inclassificabile come genere, non adatta al classico rocker che vuole chitarre a manetta, urla titaniche e batterie tuonanti, qui serve una mente aperta per apprezzare gli sforzi del nostro.

Read more: Metallized Review

By Uber Rock

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Ian James Stewart is best known as the guitarist and main songwriter with the band Strangeways. Not by me though – I’d never heard of him before I found 'Junk DNA' stuffed in my letterbox.

On the evidence of what’s here, that’s my loss. 'Junk DNA' is a wonderful collection of thoughtful, well-crafted and sometimes heartfelt tracks that sits in that genre-defying no-man’s-land with the likes of Steve Hogarth’s h-band, Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden, Kate Bush’s 'The Dreaming' album and Twelfth Night’s Geoff Mann. It’s too tough and edgy to be pop, but not always hard enough to be rock. It’s proggy in places but not really prog. There’s a cool blues influence here and there, but it’s not really blues. You get the picture.

Read more: Uber Rock Review

By Rock Metal Essence (Italian)

Artista: Ian James Stewart
Titolo: Junk DNA
Genere: Smooth Blues Rock
Anno di uscita: 2013
Provenienza: Scozia
Etichetta: Cargo Records
Voto: 78/100

Gli appassionati di rock melodico riconosceranno in Ian James Stewart il chitarrista di una delle formazioni storiche del genere, gli Strangeways.

L'8 novembre 2013 questo musicista ha pubblicato un suo nuovo album solista, Junk DNA, nel quale torna ad immergersi libero nelle sue influenze blues rock e melodiche.

Read more: RME Review

By Brian Sidler (Former Music Writer for Chicago Music Magazine)

If you trust my ears, which I hope you do by now, I’m telling you this album stands up to the toughest scrutiny. It deserves your undivided attention. It deserves your money. I have dropped the frikken needle on this puppy several times and I’m still not bored yet. Usually, I’ll get bored (even if I like it) after about the fourth spin and most often I can’t get through an album without skipping the next tune in line after 15 seconds into any particular cut. Not this time.

So here’s why I love this platter.

Read More..


The Songs
'Junk DNA' for the most part keeps to a blues/jazz structure with layers of ambience as a best friend. The title track is a coarse modern day rocker, where Stewart stretches the boundaries with some dependable riffs and intrusive solos.

'Phosphorus', at 8 and a half minutes is the longest track here, but what a song. Even Pink Floyd would be impressed. The simple piano melody creates ambient space for the other passages to come into their own. One of the loveliest tracks I've heard in awhile.

Read more: Glorydaze Review

A word or two on Junk DNA from Robert Wyatt..

I well remember father Brian Eno's warning dictum concerning unhelpfully decorative clutter:

"every object obscures another".

And here's what is so refreshing about what Ian James Stewart does. there's everything you need and nothing you don't.

Ian's music has a hypnotic elegance. A magical touch - almost translucent at times - but with a warm pulse that really drives the music along with an organically focussed momentum.

Rock music for grownups.


Ian was born in a small Scottish farmhouse, to the sound of his father's accordion. Started playing guitar in the mid-sixties, strumming along to his dad's records - Hank Williams and Johnny Cash as well as the popular music of the day.

Ian's sister Linda played piano, brother Billy played violin, and later his younger brother David took up bass guitar.

Ian started playing in their dad's band. A mix of scottish and country music. Next he found himself in a Glasgow band "the James Boys", playing material by such as Steely Dan, the Eagles, and Stevie Wonder.

After six months with them in Spain, Ian returned home to work on his own songs.

He managed to get hold of an old reel-to-reel tape recorder, bouncing ideas back and forth until he felt he'd got enough possibilities down to write and record his own music in own way.

after recording and touring with many of the best, Ian's really earned this.

Ian James Stewart's music has something to say, and does so in a way I find totally authentic.


robert Y@.

Thank you Robert..!