Dig out a copy of Motley Crue's kiss-off "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" and forget for a minute that the guys performing the song have teased-out hair and are wearing make-up. Cool down the beat to more of a shuffle, toss in a drawl on the vocal and imagine some twang on the guitar and boom, you have a country song.
The similarities between modern country and '80s arena rock are not lost on Glenn Stewart, a powerhouse singer who started out in rock bands and is now a popular draw along the country circuit. Stewart has a big year planned, and it starts with his appearance New Year's Eve at the Wah.
"When I started doing country, I went to Nashville and I was told, 'Well Glenn, this is really rock 'n' roll. Just because you're wearing a cowboy hat doesn't make it country,'" Stewart recalls.
The Auburn resident was just a bit ahead of the curve when he started combining down-home sentiments with revved-up guitars. And now Stewart's brand of country is all the rage _ just check out the monster hits by Jason Aldean and Eric Church. Stewart has a batch of songs ready to record, starting with "Good on Me," that fits right in with country's current trend. The singer says he'll be in the studio early in the new year and get as much work done as he can before the busy spring and summer touring cycle starts.
The Ragged Impresarios will back Stewart on NYE, and he takes the stage at 9 p.m., so there's plenty of time to get in runs and grab a bite before checking out Stewart's country that kicks.