Reece for Citizen gala

GETTING through rough weather in life is something we can all identify with – and for Port Elizabeth musician Stuart Reece and his band that journey has been the inspiration for a new album.

Reece's group will not only launch their latest album next week, they will also be one of the acts at The Herald GM Citizen of the Year gala function at the Athenaeum on November 1.

Describing the songs on the full-length album, Reece said the lyrics touched on a number of personal experiences.

"From love and confusion, to believing in yourself and following your dreams no matter the circumstances.

"The album's title comes from one of the songs called Storm, which is about riding through a rough patch in your life and believing that you will make it through."

The musician said the band had launched their first demo in 2011 and their first full-length album as the Stuart Reece Band last year.

"I set a goal to put the next album out by 2013. Somehow I managed to stick to the plan and it is now ready to be sold."

As an independent group without the financial backing of a record label, both albums have had to be self-financed.

When it comes to musical influences, Reece said Jack Johnson had always been his favourite artist.

"But I am influenced by a lot of things, mainly by watching other musicians perform and the way they can make their audience feel at peace in the moment. I've got a lot of admiration for Elvis Blue. I've learnt a lot by watching his performances."

For the launch of the new album on Saturday October 12 at the Athenaeum, Reece said they had hired the best sound and lighting in the Eastern Cape.

"The guys in the band are just as excited as I am to deliver our best performance to date. We will play the whole new album live as well as a couple of popular songs from the previous albums."

Describing his musical journey to date, Reece said he'd had to work hard but that he had also been lucky.

"I've met some great people along the way who have really helped me – for that I'll always be grateful. I'll continue to work as hard as I can so I can continue to play music for a living."

Reece said their set list for Citizen of the Year was not finalised yet "but we will have to play our songs Write About Us and Love Song."

They will definitely be performing their new single Alright, which is available for listening at

Doors for the launch open at 7pm with the show at 8pm. Tickets cost R80 and are available from Offbeat music shop in Westbourne Road.

The new album will be on sale for R100. For more information, visit