ian  james  stewart 

Junk DNA

By Heavy Paradise

Ian James Stewart is a guitarist, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, but, basically, the general melodic public knows him as the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the legendary AOR act Strangeways in the mid 80's.

In his new release which is entitled "Junk DNA", Ian put all his influences that he grew up with and he mixes them in such a way that in the end he succeeds to release a solid album that may not excite but it certainly does not go unnoticed.

The music of "Junk DNA" is a mix of melodic hard / soft rock with a strong blues vibe and a more modern rock approach ! For example, the opening and self-title track of "Junk DNA" contains all of the above elements; a good guitar work, tight orchestrations and an overall memorable chorus line! The "Big White Monkey" has strong southern 'air' and it's among my favorite tracks from this opus. Next, we have the 'classic' AOR tune of "One More Time" and the melodic lines of the early Strangeways begin to shyly make their appearance and the same goes with "No Water" and "Heaven Knows" which especially the last one is characterized by a superb guitar work!

A rather good release and as I already mentioned, "Junk DNA" may not excite but it manages to capture the listener with beautiful melodies and quite well written songs.
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 7/10

[Read the original 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..!