Singer/songwriter/song stylist Raspin Stuwart’s life and career can best be described as 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.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Raspin was surrounded by the influences of the blues and jazz music greats of the era, as well as the popularity of the singer-songwriter music genre of the 1970s that began 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 since arriving in the City of Angels to seek his fame and fortune at the tender age of 17. Like the music heroes who today remain relevant, serious music lovers of all ages relate to Raspin’s performances, his complex and intriguing lyrics, and inspired covers of classics.
Raspin’s emotional vocals, striking lyrics impact brightly on the listener, a stark contrast to his hypnotic melodic background. As evidenced on his new CD, to be released this sping, his eclectic mix of theatrical, captivating and soulful music provides the perfect follow-up to his critically acclaimed, Starbucks-endorsed CD, We Do What We Do. Tracks on his new release include a reggae version of “Smoke the Hookah,” enjoyed its 12 week run at #1 on the Indie Music Top 10 charts, the jazzish “New York 2 L.A.,” “Love Along the Way” (a unique pop hybrid rooted in the 1960s), the soulful, down-home warmth blues of “Mama’s Got the Blues,” and his spin on singer/songwriter Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” which Raspin truly makes his own.
Keeping Raspin in demand after long ago establishing himself in the music world is the fact that he remains the newest and freshest “veteran” musician, singer, songwriter and song stylist working today. His appearances at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) in recent years, as well as his inclusion in the stellar lineup for Southern California’s Make Music Pasadena concert at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, underscore his continued relevance in these unpredictable times, are the latest high points. His large fan base make most of his personal appearances standing room-only events at clubs and music festivals up and down the West Coast, including San Diego’s Adams Street Music festival on the Starbucks stage and the Blues Stage of the San Mateo Music festival.
“A tremendously soulful singer and songwriter who has been described in recent reviews as a force ‘of nature’ who is ‘in the business of show stopping,” -Paul Zollo songtalk/blueline
Raspin’s unique style allow him to be right at home anywhere, from the smallest, intimate theater to an energetic blues club. Raspin was the opening musical performance for author Marianne Williamson, and has been described as “a music guru… who makes us think,” by the Life Changes Network BBS. Thousands of fans are mesmerized when they attend his live shows and absorb his soulful music into their hearts and minds. On YouTube, his video clips have enjoyed more than 50,000 views.
His distinct musical persona and signature vocal style 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; and The Troubadour, Hollywood. Other notable highlights of his career included Raspin’s credits as a producer (including actress C.C.H. Pounder’s spoken word CD, Smoke. Raspin is professionally and personally proud of his satisfying musical collaborations with Richie Havens and producer David Kershenbaum, as well as his work with many up-and-coming artists.
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.”