Nashville troubadour Woody Pines' "Little Stella Blue" is a touching tribute to his niece, the titular Stella, who battled a rare form of cancer at a young age.
With a little Dylan inflection in his voice and a troubadour's penchant for storytelling, Nashville's own Woody Pines sounds just like the kind of musician you'd stumble across while walking down Music City's Lower Broadway street. Pines represents both the vintage sounds of Nashville past and the vivacious energy of its music scene at the present. Having cut his teeth in traveling widely across the country, including with artists such as Old Crow Medicine Show's Gill Landry, Pines has taken a solid base of raw talent and refined it over the years, resulting in works like his upcoming Woody Pines LP.
Below you can stream the album cut "Little Stella Blue", which has a particularly powerful story behind it.
Pines explains to PopMatters: "I wrote this song after a Christmas visit to my niece, Stella Blue, in Seattle. Two years ago she had been diagnosed with a Wilm's tumor, a rare form of pediatric cancer, and it was spreading. Doctors had told my family that she had a eight percent chance of pulling through. Since my family lives all over the country, we decided to spend Xmas with Stella Blue and get to know her a little. I wrote the song 'Little Stella Blue' when I got back home to Nashville and had time to process everything. It was very a very intense trip; the song just came out all at once in three or four minutes on a little scrap of paper. To me, it's a love song that's both sad and strong, a hello and a goodbye, a look through the eyes of a child at a strange world."
Fortunately, those somber circumstances have since turned around, as Pines excitedly reveals: "Stella is living normally now and has had clear scans for nine months after an experimental stem cell treatment!”
Woody Pines is out on 28 May via Muddy Roots Recordings.