The Charlotte Folk Society‘s (CFS) September Gathering features the “Four-piece string band Steph Stewart & The Boyfriends. [The band] fuses the best of Appalachian old-time music and Americana. Hailing from Chapel Hill, NC, the band is fronted by singer-songwriter Steph Stewart on guitar and banjo and features Omar Ruiz-Lopez on fiddle and mandolin, Mario Arnez on guitar, and Nicholas Vandenberg on upright bass. Together, Steph and her boyfriends deliver a haunting sound both unique and satisfyingly familiar.
A native of tiny Catawba, North Carolina, Stewart tried out life in Sweden and Seattle after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill only to feel the pull of her home state. Returning to the Triangle, she emerged with a renewed sense of purpose and a passion for the roots music of her youth that had never truly left. The band released their second studio album, Nobody’s Darlin’, in May. “With the Boyfriends’ clean instrumentation setting the scene, the distinct voice of Steph Stewart conveys stories with considerable grace. At once youthful and wise, her timbre recalls the genre’s legendary sirens while maintaining a confidently modern sound.” – Our State Digital (June 2014)” Charlotte Folk Society