A singer who sings to your soul
Call singer/songwriter/song stylist Raspin Stuwart’s life and career, “A Tale of Two Cities.” – Chicago and Los Angeles, that is. However, these two cities are just starting points for a performer with truly universal appeal.
Raspin, born and raised in Chicago, was surrounded by the influences of blues and jazz music greats as well as the popularity of the singer-songwriter music genre of the 1970s that begat one-of-a-kind talents such as Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen and Cat Stevens. His music is equally informed by the entirety of his adult life in Los Angeles, measured by his professional successes over the decades. Like the music heroes who today remain relevant, serious music lovers of all ages relate to his performances, his complex and intriguing lyrics, and inspired covers of classics.
Raspin’s emotional, striking lyrics shine bright against a melodic background. This will be quite evident on his forthcoming CD, King of Fools. The eclectic mix of theatrical, captivating and soulful music provides a most satisfying follow-up to his critically acclaimed, Starbucks-endorsed CD, We Do What We Do. Tracks include New York 2 L.A., Love Along the Way (a unique roots-60s pop hybrid), the soulful, down-home warmth of Mama’s Got the Blues, and his spin on Donovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man, which he truly makes his own.
What’s kept Raspin Stuwart in demand as an artist? It’s the fact that he remains the newest and freshest “veteran” musician, singer, songwriter and song stylist working today. His appearances at NAMM 2015 and 2014, as well as his being part of the stellar lineup for this summer’s Make Music Pasadena concert event on the main stage of Levitt Pavilion Pasadena are the latest high points. In fact, over the past two years, he’s made his presence known in a big way in his standing room-only club appearances and in music festivals up and down the West Coast. These include noteworthy music events such as San Diego’s Adams Street Music festival on the Starbucks stage, and the Blues Stage of the San Mateo Music festival.
His unique presence is right at home, everywhere from an intimate theater to a blues club. Raspin was the opening musical performance for author/activist Marianne Williamson, and has been described as, “A music guru...who makes us think,” by the Life Changes Network BBS. Indeed, he’s made thousands of people think at his live shows, via the spiritual lyrics of his original songs and his inspired styling of rock and blues classics. This effect is multiplied, thanks to video clips on YouTube garnering 50,000+ hits.
His distinct musical persona and stage presence has taken him to performance dates at top U.S. Blues clubs, including B.B. King’s Blues Club; Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco; Santa Monica’s Harvells; The Troubadour, Hollywood; and The Earl of Old Town and Orphans, Chicago, in their heyday. Other highlights over the years are his credits as a producer (including actress C.C.H. Pounder’s spoken word CD, Smoke, a ballot contender for a spoken-word Grammy), his covers of The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun and Donovan’s Catch the Wind, featured on the hit television series, The Wonder Years, and his professionally and personally satisfying musical collaborations with Richie Havens and producer David Kershenbaum. His songs have also been performed by many up-and-coming artists.
“It’s always important to receive accolades and support from your peers and the powers that be in the music business,” says Raspin. “However, what keeps me going, personally, professionally and creatively, are my fans, who have shown their overwhelming approval through their presence at my live shows, their shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and their purchases of my first CD. And if they liked We Do What We Do, they will really enjoy what’s happening with King of Fools.”
That said, many music industry insiders are as enthusiastic about Raspin’s signature style as his loyal fans. Noted critic Paul Zollo of Songtalk/Blue Railroad, raves he is “a tremendously soulful singer and songwriter (and) a force ‘of nature’ who is ‘in the business of show stopping.” Music Connection described his work as, “Bluesy, jazzy, soul based music, composed with heavy-hearted messages."
One San Diego fan, Donna Merghart, sums him up best, observing, “He is awesome. His soul is that of amazing energy, his spirit reaches into an unseen peace, and his music and his dance makes you smile! Listen to Raspin, as he has a message."