The man behind Stuart Rolfe and the Daylight Stealers, US-based singer-songwriter Stuart Rolfe turns heads with his captivating country sound. Already an established act in the Nashville music scene, Rolfe has primarily performed as a session guitarist “bouncing about the session circuit” making connections and playing songs. In 2020, he decided to step out of the shadows and into the light as a solo act bringing his skill to the fore. Having worked with artists like Faith Hill Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Mark Knopfler, Rolfe probably has some entertaining tales but that’s not what we’re here for. Today we are taking a look (or rather a listen) to his cover of ‘I Need You’.
Made famous by the dynamic pairing of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, ‘I Need You’ is a heartfelt and tender track touching on the human need for connection. Hill and McGraw share that the song “…represents how people need each other, not necessarily in a romantic sense. After what we’ve all been through the past year or so, spending time with those you love has never felt more important.” The original release captures this sentiment fantastically and Rolfe does as well in his cover.
Produced at NAM Studios by Tyler Spice, this version of ‘I Need You’ has a tender intimacy that intoxicates the listener. I’m not saying the original track is not intimate but there seems to be an underlying haunting in Rolfe’s cover. When listening to each version, I find there is a strong similarity in the tone; however, there is a roughness to Rolfe’s melodic arrangement enhancing its raw honesty. It is this gruffness that adds an innocence to the melody which is truly intoxicating.
Finding the balance between melancholic naivety and provocative reflection, Stuart Rolfe and Becky Lawrence (who happens to be his vocal coach) create an unforgettable version of ‘I Need You’. Rolfe shares that “music is my passion, my past, present and future. No matter how many mountains we must climb, always remember the good times. Be positive, be attentive and ride life with style and dignity.” I think it is safe to say that he is riding the airwaves with dignity and elegance.