Music Spotlight: Amanda Stewart

Growing up in the mountains of Montana, Amanda Stewart spent much of her time on her grandparents’ ranch, being exposed to the acoustic instrumentation and simple yet honest songwriting of Americana, folk, and country music styles.

She said, “My mom did a little bit of singing in school and was always singing in the car. And I sang with her. We actually did little karaoke contests and things like that. And my dad loved music, too. And my grandparents had a piano in their living room at their ranch. Whenever I would go, I would just be in there plugging away and singing. Nobody was professionally inclined, but it’s just always been a big part of the family life.”

Stewart started writing around age 16 as she taught herself to play guitar. And she knew a little piano too. But it wasn’t until 2021 that she fully embraced the songwriting process. Although she has performed locally for more than 15 years, she just recently began singing her original material.

Being sequestered in the wide-open mountains of Montana has greatly influenced her songwriting.


Stewart said, “Montana is a hidden gem full of all sorts of genres of music. That paired with the slower pace of life compared to other cities I’ve lived in like Seattle, gave me the figurative and literal space for self-reflection.”

And while Stewart has been singing for years, it has taken a while for her to find her unique voice and sound. When she truly began to dedicate herself to the craft, she learned what her voice could do and how singing about things she cared about made her a better artist.

In her most popular song to date, she confesses in her song “Roots” that she can no longer run from her roots as she embraces who she is.

Earlier this year, her album Venom is a prime example of how much she has evolved.

She said, “I just want people to feel okay with whatever they’re feeling. There are songs about a lot of serious and difficult things, and also songs about fleeting moments in my life, and I know others have had similar experiences.”

Life doesn’t look the same for every person, but through shared emotions, we are reminded of how connected we truly are, and Venom perfectly encapsulates these synchronicities.

The folk singer added, “I want people to get these songs stuck in their head so that they can be reminded that someone else has been where they may be now or have been before in life.”

Stewart shares her feelings in a poetic, relatable way in the song “Barn Crazy” and others from the album.

However, what caught my attention was when her publicist sent me a copy of  a five track holiday EP, Since It’s Christmas. Comprised of three original songs and two covers, you will want to add these Americana sounds of the season to your holiday playlist.

The title track, “Since It’s Christmas,” is a straightforward tale about two people who are no longer together but decide they may spend the holiday together. The nostalgic story takes us back to a different place in the homespun tune.

The artist makes light of her life in the punchy tune, “It’s Been One Hell Of A Year.” With words, I know I did not make his list/ I’m brandy-soaked, burnt to a crisp/People keep on talking/ I don’t care/ It’s been one hell of a year, she embraces the reality in which she finds herself.

One of the highlights from the EP is a cover of the Counting Crows’ “A Long December.” Stewart puts a rootsy take on the song. The songstress’s buttery twang makes the song as relevant today as it was years ago.

The singer/songwriter admits to gravitating toward melancholy words and music. It’s not bells and bows for everyone during the holiday season. Her song “Merry Christmas to Us” laments the lame office Christmas party as she provides alternatives to staying at it.

Stewart’s final song on her Holiday EP is “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Her delivery of the cover is pure and effortless and is one of the best versions of the song you will hear.

If Americana, roots music with a twist of Country is your thing, you need to check out Stewart’s full catalog of songs.

You can follow Stewart on her websiteFacebookInstagramYouTube, and all streaming platforms.

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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blog, Instagram, Threads, and X (Twitter).


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