Knoxville singer/songwriter Stewart Pack has been making music for three decades now. He’s released nearly half a dozen albums in as many years through his Locust Hill basement studio, and has recorded a staggering body of work throughout his career. He’s done the solo thing, and has been involved with local bands like Pegclimber and the 1-900s. Pack has played, written, worked, recorded, and toured with the likes of Metric’s Emily Haines, Guided by Voice’s Doug Gillard, Sparklehorse’s Scott Minor, and Superdrag’s John Davis.
So it means something when Pack declares his latest project to be the highlight of his career. Currently at work on a three-song demo, homegrown supergroup Stewart Pack and the Silent Kays features a handful of musicians who have been long-time fixtures on the Knoxville indie music scene.
“This is, without a doubt, the best and most diversely talented group of players I have ever assembled,” Pack says. “Each player is not only an ace at what they do, but we’ve all played for so long that it’s just falling into place.”
What’s “falling into place” is an eclectic blend of guitar-driven rock, three-part harmony, and piano pop, with some classic country influences thrown in for good measure. It’s definitively American, but not Americana. “For the past few years I’ve let a lot of old influences creep back into my music,” Pack says of the Silent Kays’ sound. “I grew-up during the FM era of rock and was raised on classic country.... We have a piano in the band now so it’s leaning toward the Band/Don McLean bent on more of a Matthew Sweet/Tom Petty vibe.” (April Snellings)