With her feminine touch on the traditional country sound, she’ll take you back.
Raised in the small town of Auburn, Alabama, Regan Stewart started writing songs when she was 8. “To me, songs are like letters,” says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter. “Some are written to make you laugh, some to reminisce, and others to get you through hard times. I feel like that is a good way to describe the music I’m releasing. The songs are very true to who I am, with a feminine touch to a traditional country sound.”
Stewart comes by traditional country honestly. “It was great getting to grow up in a college town that still had a small town feel where everybody knows everybody,” she says. “We spent a lot of time going to college football games and hanging out around campus. My home was not too far from my grandparents’ farm, so I had the best of both worlds. Days on the farm were filled with lots of family time, shucking corn, and feeding cows.”
During college at Mississippi State, she interned at a radio station in Minneapolis and had an experience that would set the course of her life. “One day, all of the interns were offered free pizza and to join in on a radio tour performance,” Stewart says. “When the artist started singing and telling stories about her songs, I immediately knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
And she does it very well indeed as you’ll hear when you listen to her new release, “Drop Dead Gorgeous.”
We talked with Stewart about the new music and the singer behind the song.
Cowboys & Indians: Tell us about your brand-new song, “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” What inspired it and how did it come together?
Regan Stewart: A mutual friend introduced me to Brandon Hood, who produced the music. We started writing and “Drop Dead Gorgeous” was the first song we wrote together. I remember driving home after writing that song and thinking, This is it. Brandon really got the Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack vibe that I was going for. The song was inspired by the feeling you get when another girl starts catching the attention of the guy you’re interested in. It’s a feeling I know too well — ha ha.
C&I: What’s your favorite thing about the song?
Stewart: My favorite thing is the quirkiness of it. I like that it’s a funny take on a situation that most girls have gone through. I love that the hook sneaks up on you and that the song ends up being not what you expected.
C&I: You mentioned Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack. Who are some of your other musical influences?
Stewart: Besides those two, I listened to a lot of the Chicks, Deana Carter, and George Strait growing up. Our car radio was always playing the top country hits wherever we went. I also have a vivid memory of me singing “Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter while I was on the playground in kindergarten.
C&I: Generally speaking, what inspires you?
Stewart: I love writing in my journal and reading different types of books to inspire me. Two of my favorite books that have really inspired me lately were Enjoying God by S.J. Hill and Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. Spending time in nature and with God help me to refocus and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. The most important things in my life are my family and my relationship with Jesus.
C&I: The pandemic’s given lots of people more quiet time than they were used to having. How have you been riding it out?
Stewart: At the beginning, I spent a lot of time doing things that I don’t often get to do. I read a bunch of books, painted the doors of my house bright yellow, spent a lot of time outside, and binge-watched the TV show Lost. I also spent some time writing songs over Zoom. For a couple of weeks, I got to travel to Fairhope, Alabama, and spend some time with my family. It was a great change of scenery.
C&I: What’s the first thing you’re going to do when the world goes back to normal?
Stewart: I’m looking forward to playing shows and getting to meet new fans. I love connecting with people and can’t wait for music to bring us back together. Two of my favorite artists, Rascal Flatts and Ben Rector, had tours scheduled this year that I had bought tickets to. I’m super-ready for live concerts to start back up! If you look hard, you’ll find me dancing in the 300-section at the shows.
C&I: What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
Stewart: Back in March, I released a children’s book on Amazon called Henry Hears His Heart. It’s a story about a hedgehog that reminds people that they are perfect the way God made them.
C&I: What’s next for you?
Stewart: In the next couple of months, I plan on releasing new music. I’m super-excited about the music we’ve been creating in the studio. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it! I’m planning on getting back into the studio soon and hopefully playing some shows once all of this craziness is over. Also, I’m going to be an aunt again to a baby girl in December, so that is something to look forward to!
Regan Stewart’s Playlist
“Songs I Will Love Till The Day I Die”
“Love Is a Wild Thing” — Kacey Musgraves
“How ’Bout Them Cowgirls” — George Strait
“More Than My Hometown” — Morgan Wallen
“There’s Your Trouble” — The Chicks
“Gabrielle” — Brett Eldredge
“Where Rainbows Never Die” —The Steeldrivers
“The Days” — Hailey Whitters
“Homemade” — Jake Owen
“Big Green Tractor” — Jason Aldean
“Too Good Is True” —Rascal Flatts
“On to Something Good” — Ashley Monroe
“Me and My Kind” — Cody Johnson