Todd Stewart, Plano Musician

It’s always the quiet ones. The unassuming, sweet tempered people that in everyday life don’t look like they can rock. You wouldn’t know just by looking at Todd Stewart that he is one seriously talented musician.

You may not recognize Todd’s name right away, but chances are that living in North Texas, you’ve heard his music at some point. See, he plays with this little country band you might have heard about — the Randy Rogers Band. While playing with RRB is a full time gig, Todd loves music so much that he’s spreading the love just for fun — right here in Plano, the place he calls home.

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Todd Stewart (left) and Kevin Ockwood performing at Katy Trail Ice House Outpost in Plano

Todd Stewart grew up in Arlington with two older brothers who played in a band, and like all little brothers, he followed and mimicked their every move. His brother Steve encouraged Todd’s musical interests, buying him his first guitar. Now Todd plays acoustic guitar, violin, piano, organ, mandolin and even busts out with background vocals these days for RRB.

A scholarship in the early 90s to the University of Central Oklahoma for Concert Violin and Music Education provided him with serious musical training. It also gave him dedication to his craft and mentors that urged him to continue performing. He was able to start out with an immediate job after college in his brother Steve’s band, The Spirit of the West. After his brother retired, the band became Todd Stewart and the Spirit of the West. They had pretty good success and played some big places like Cowboy’s Dancehall in Arlington.

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All photography by Jennifer Shertzer

Like most musicians, Todd has had opportunities to play with a lot of different people throughout his career. From 1995-1997 he played with country artist Neil McCoy, and from 2000-2003 he played for country artist Johnny Lee (famous for his 1980 hit “Looking For Love” in the movie Urban Cowboy). Todd’s also played with Hootie and the Blowfish and now with the Randy Rogers Band. His musical ability has also earned him the honor of meeting or playing with influential musicians and Texas musicians of notoriety. He’s met Willie Nelson, Johnny Gimble, George Strait, Ronnie Milsap, and Restless Heart, to name a few.

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Todd’s in the business of making music because he truly loves all kinds of music, but even he admits to being starstruck and in awe of some of the perks he’s enjoyed over the years. He knows not every musician has had his kind of luck, being able to meet and work with some of the finest names in the music industry. He often reels at “getting experiences to see and do things that you never thought you’d ever get,” like standing on the White House Lawn and watching the President board Marine One.

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Todd starting calling Plano home three years ago, when he married his wife Ashley and moved to be with her and her son. He loves Plano, expressing how it feels like such a small town even though it’s a suburb of one of the biggest cities in the country. He loves the feel of close-knit community that Plano exudes. Since travel is a necessity of life touring with RRB, in their downtime Todd and Ashley like to stay close to home, hitting places like downtown Plano’s Urban Crust and unique shops. They also love dining at The Fish Shack and Ruang Thai.

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Another of Todd’s favorites is Katy Trail Ice House Outpost on Park near Preston Road. He performs there every other Tuesday night during the summer. According to Todd, he plays “a little of everything: country, rock, southern rock.” You holler a request and he can probably play it. He effortlessly changes instruments throughout his set, playing everything from Florida-Georgia Line, The Eagles, and Rob Thomas to country fiddle classics like ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band. He also regularly plays an evening set at Tailgaters in Addison twice a month.

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Plano and live music aren’t exactly synonymous; you expect more of it in cities like Austin, Nashville, Memphis or closer by in downtown Dallas. Todd’s trying to change that, though. With plenty of places around town supporting live music, such as Love and War in Texas, Katy Trail Ice House Outpost, Taverna Rossa, Urban Rio and the Texas Music Series at the Courtyard Theater (just to name a few), Planoites have plenty of opportunities to hear some amazing artists, both local peeps and the nationally-recognized. Be sure to follow Todd Stewart’s Facebook page for updates on his upcoming gigs, both solo and with Randy Rogers Band. Now get out there and feel the love!

Todd Stewart on Facebook > Find live music on our Events page >
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