Exploring the Heart of Pine: A Conversation with Steven Bagwell

Greetings, friends! Did you get a chance to listen to the newest release from Athens, Georgia’s, Heart of Pine? This is a jam for sure, a raw blues-rock sound blended with the funkiest voice and soul producing a vibe that just grabs you and pulls you in.

Music wise, “Phetamine & Pearls” from the heart outflows the exceptional abilities from the secret magic of the clavinet up to the amazing horn section. It’s great that they all have their own special sound to give it that fresh feel while the timelessness that brings you back comes through well.

More than that, the band takes inspiration from great bands from the 1960s and 1970s, such as The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead, putting their unique southern rock-meets-psychedelia crossover into it. It hits you deeply, that rootsy performance, but a completely fresh sound.

As part of the entirety of the interview, I also had the opportunity to indulge in an exhilarating conversation with Steven Bagwell, the band’s gifted vocalist and guitarist. Steven had me covered on everything – from their come-up in the Athens music scene to the chances of a next album as soon as possible.

He wasn’t stingy on his side either. Steven left no stone unturned – he talked about the sources of inspiration, the creative process, the catch-22s of playing and how he envisioned the future. His genuineness and his genuine strong love for the music is something you just feel with every instrument.

Observe the next, which will be a venture into the heart and soul of Heart of Pine. These guys have such a soulful, expressive sound and are expressing their love and passion for their art through every song with such intensity that it leaves the listener speechless. The music is like the lively and exciting landscapes in Ga which birthed it. Don’t sleep on them!

Listen to Heart of Pine below https://open.spotify.com/track/0lNPC5R772UbRDT2OxIZqs

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What is your stage name?

Heart of Pine my name is Steven Bagwell

Is there a story behind your stage name?

Our name came from a song we wrote off our first album, called Old Soul. The song is about life from the perspective of a bar top made out of pine.

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. From everything. Personal experiences or stories we’ve heard or even items we’ve found in our travels.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?

Music has always been a focus in my life. It was only recently that I found out some people don’t even care what they’re listening to. That was a strange concept to grasp for me and still is. Ever since I was a little kid, maybe 4 or 5, I knew I wanted to be a singer when I grew up. I used to sing along to Michael Jackson or the Beach Boys in my living room a lot at that age.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?

No. No one in my family plays or sings or does any type of art. I didn’t get to fulfill my desire to learn an instrument until the age of 19, when I bought my first guitar.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?

Without a doubt, Jimmy Page is the reason I began to play guitar. I would watch The Song Remains the Same on repeat and would just be mesmerized by the control he had over the guitar and it looked like fun.

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Without a doubt, Jimmy Page is the reason I began to play guitar.

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?

100% self taught up to now. I’ve only begun to take guitar lessons within the last month. I do regret not taking lessons at an earlier age but I also feel that I developed an interesting style of my own by doing so.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?

The first concert I ever went to, I was 12, and it was Hard Rock Fest 99 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was a pretty big one day festival with Silverchair, Offspring, Buckcherry, Live, and a ton of others. I was hooked on rock n roll concerts after that.

How could you describe your music?

I always struggle with describing our music, but I usually settle with “Southedelic.” It’s kind of like a new form of southern rock in my opinion. I always love to hear how others describe it though and the descriptions vary widely.

Describe your creative process.

Travis Richardson (acoustic guitar) and I write most of the music lyrics together. Our sessions usually start off with a few shots of bourbon, some improvisation jamming and then we dive into a topic. We try to keep our thoughts obscure for the most part. It’s nice to leave a little mystery in your work. It gives it character.

What is your main inspiration?


What musician do you admire most and why?

I don’t have one musician I admire most, but there are several bands that I admire for a number of reasons. The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, The Band, and a lot of bluegrass bands currently.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?

Yes! Majorly. If you listen to our first album and then some of our newer stuff it is undeniable.

Who do you see as your main competitor?

Nashville’s pockets

What are your interests outside of music?

I’m a traveler. I love meeting new people and understanding where they come from and why they are who they are. Its exciting to learn to understand the differences between people by learning their culture of where they were raised.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?

I currently have a job that keeps me afloat, which is running a roofing company.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?

Money. The music industry, like all others, is ran by people with money. It’s rare that a musician makes something out of themselves without a lot of it behind them. It’s wild really but it goes back to what I was saying earlier about people not even caring what they listen to. I’ll digress for the moment. Haha

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?

Festivals should have a few headliners and then do their research for talented local bands.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?

Phetamine & Pearls is a Bob Dylan reference and it’s the opening line of the tune.

What are your plans for the coming months?

We are playing shows all over Georgia this summer and are getting ready to release our full length album this July. It will feature 9 songs.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?


What message would you like to give to your fans?

We fuckin love y’all!

Mister Styx
Mister Styxhttps://musicarenagh.com
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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