"Every hat is cowboy hat
if you're a real cowboy"
“It’s all about being able to flourish in your own skin,” says Stevens, whose forthcoming debut album, I Feel Good, with its rollicking equal-parts Southern rock and sincere country flair, is a master class in what happens when a musician leans into his natural-bred confidence and emotion. “Sometimes you gotta double down, and step off the ledge and trust whatever it is you trust,” Stevens says of putting his entirety into this project, the first in a trio of releases -- an inimitable eight-track album that includes songs like the title track and “Gambling Man” where he showcases his love for tried-and-true rockers like the Rolling Stones and the Doobie Brothers; and on other songs like “New Boots” and “Speak of the Devil,” his soft spot for country innovators like Eric Church is on full display. “The heart of me is somehow split in equal parts rock and roll, soul, and country music,” Stevens says. “At its core though,'' he says, “it’s just stories in rhythmic form.”
Stevens had been writing and performing songs for years, dating back to his earliest days singing in church and then as a fixture on the college-bar circuit while attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Only recently, however, did he land on the sincerity and frankness that’s come to define his best work.
“I was like ‘Alright, I’ve been totally missing the mark. It’s all about writing what I feel and what I care about. All the music I love was made that way. It’s passion. It’s all about heart. It’s all about following that and not veering off one bit.’”