Alastair Ian "Al" Stewart is a Scottishsinger-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history.
Stewart is best known for his 1976 hit single "Year of the Cat", the title song from the platinum album of the same name. Though Year of the Cat and its 1978 platinum follow-up Time Passages brought Stewart his biggest worldwide commercial successes, earlier albums such as Past, Present and Future from 1973 are often seen as better examples of his intimate brand of historical folk-rock - a style to which he has returned in recent albums.
Stewart was a key figure in British music and he appears throughout the musical folklore of the revivalist era. He played at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon, shared a London apartment with a young Paul Simon, and hosted at the Les Cousins folk club in London in the 1960s.
Stewart has released sixteen studio and three live albums since his debut album Bedsitter Images in 1967, and continues to tour extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK. His latest release is Uncorked, which was released on his independent label, Wallaby Trails Recordings.
"British talent Al Stewart has always been obsessed with romantic literature and history, marking him as the most incongruous of folk-flavored "pop" singers. ‘Year of the Cat’ delivered Al a fluke hit – once. And the man is still going his own merry way on Sparks of Ancient Light (A-), citing the likes of Greek mythology, former president William McKinley, an Elvis sighting and ‘(A Child's View of) The Eisenhower Years.’ But the guy sings and writes as well as he ever did, and in his quirky, bemused and literate way he's delivered one of the finest albums of his career.”
- Jonathan Takiff - Philadelphia Daily News