Classic country played smooth and prickly. New songs played pretty and ugly. Led by Steph Stewart & Mario Arnez.  “Stewart’s twangy vocals recall the sounds of Patsy Cline and overlay the soothing sounds of traditional North Carolina folk music.” — Christian Podgaysky, Encore “Steph Stewart could follow Gillian Welch and Tift Merritt as the next great female voice in alt-country.”  – Ryan Snyder, Yes! Weekly

Blue Cactus


Blue Cactus is the modern classic country duo consisting of Steph Stewart & Mario Arnez. The pair first played music together for three years as the Americana string band Steph Stewart & the Boyfriends and released two records under that name. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, they are currently booking festivals and tours in support of their debut, self-titled album released February 2017.

From gritty honky-tonk to heart-breaking balladry, Blue Cactus is the one stop shop for everything that made country music matter. One prick & you’re stuck.

“Together they conjure a sound that will take you back to the best duets from Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons .. the twangy, deep vocals of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, and the true grit of Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash…  For those of us clinging to the past of country music but desperately looking to the future, Blue Cactus gives us hope to fight another day.” — Auntie Bellum (April 10, 2017)

“Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez, operating as Blue Cactus, fully embody the love and heartbreak of honky-tonk… infusing classic country with an acutely personal sensibility and modern instrumentation.” — Indy Week Record Review (March 1, 2017)

“If you’ve ever wondered … where Country and Americana music is going, look no further. Blue Cactus, is painting beautiful pictures of limitless possibility.” — No Depression (Feb. 24, 2017)

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