If you know anything about the Auburn music scene, The Stews is likely a familiar name. However, they are currently taking their music to the next level by playing on a large-scale tour with another Auburn-originated band, The Vegabonds.
Consisting of Preston Hall on lead vocals and guitar, Wyatt Griffith on the drums, Bennett Baugus on bass guitar, and Blake Dobbs on guitar, The Stews are a local band that plays rock music of any kind.
The band released their debut EP on April 14, 2021. It is comprised of five of the band’s singles and has received hundreds of thousands of listens on Spotify.
Playing approximately 50 shows with The Vegabonds, along with several one-off performances, The Stews have a packed schedule for the next few months. The tour started in Raleigh, NC, in mid-December, they will continue to play steadily until May 29 at Rooster Walk in Martinsville, VA.
But for a band to have made it to this level, one may wonder where they got their start. Blake Dobbs provided an account of how the four of them met and how the band was started.
“Bennett, Wyatt and I, we met in high school, and I got lucky enough to come hang out with them and play and it turned into a band thing,” Dobbs said. “We played all through high school, and they (Bennett and Wyatt) went off to college and we all went our separate ways.”
Dobbs, being a year younger than his bandmates, did not get to go off with his bandmates immediately after graduating high school. However, Wyatt became acquainted with Preston Hall during his time at college, which would soon help piece a new band together.
“Wyatt introduced Bennett and I to Preston over winter break. Then Bennett decided to transfer to Auburn and I graduated from high school and took a gap year and then everyone was in Auburn and here we are now,” Dobbs said.
After forming the band, they began playing locally throughout Auburn and have expanded further into music festivals all through the southeast.
On their first EP, the band described their music as a compilation of hard rock. However, as time has gone on, they have incorporated softer rock and even beach rock into their sets.
The band provided some insight into their future music projects.
“I think our next release is going to be a little bit of a different direction, but what I’m excited about is the fact that it’s got some songs that are similar to the EP, and it’s got a ton of songs that are way out there and really different,” said Baugus.
Even though they consider themselves to be very rock-centered, they also feel inclined to change things up and claim that their songwriting is not bound by any one genre.
“I don’t think anything is going to stop us from beginning to branch out,” said Griffith on the future of the band’s style.
In the future, they aspire to play for as long as possible and as much as possible. They want to climb the ladder and start playing bigger and better venues. Their main goal is to make connections wherever they’re playing and reach as many people as possible with their music through any medium that will get the job done.
The band gave one collective response when asked about where they hope their music will take them.
“The sky is the limit.”
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Tucker Massey, sophomore in journalism, is a news editor for The Auburn Plainsman.