Indie Rock Aficionado Walks Down the Old Dirt Road Once Again

Michael Stover
3 min readMay 8, 2023


I think people can relate to stories where we struggle and best-laid plans are crushed. It’s part of our life experience.

- Nolen R. Chew Jr.

We’ve all been told that age is but a number but it’s good to keep in mind that the bigger the number, the slower you move … that is unless you are Nolen R. Chew Jr., who keeps releasing music at a pace that would exhaust even people in their twenties. The cool thing about his latest album “New Day at Dawn” ­- released on May 19 worldwide — is that it finds Nolen writing and recording Americana once again.

Even though a master of many genres, as his fans fully well know, this is where The Star Prairie Projects’ songwriter’s truest gift lies: crafting gorgeous, melodic music that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you reflect. No wonder Star Prairie Project has millions of streams on Spotify and quite a few Top 30 hits on the international iTunes charts — their music touches your soul. Not bad for a guy who started playing guitar on his 52 birthday!

Says Nolen: “New Day at Dawn” blows in a breath of fresh air. It’s light and breezy, a promise that no matter how shitty your day was, tomorrow is a new chance at life — a do-over if you will. Or perhaps the first day of a brand new beginning? We all need that reassurance that we can start over, that nothing, aside from dying, is the end of the world. Reinventing yourself is one of those great American traditions that’s deeply woven into the fabric of our nation. Think about President Jimmy Carter, for instance. He’s been a naval officer, peanut farmer, politician and a human rights activist — a living proof that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, and that it’s never too late to change.

The group-leader Nolen collaborates with musicians and producers from around the world to bring his songs to life. His new album is a collaboration with Rudiger and Ivy Marie, both artists with long and successful careers in music. Rudiger was once even asked to jam with Velvet Revolver! Now, what’s cooler than that?

VENTS dubbed The Star Prairie Project’s previous release “a highly enjoyable offering”, while A & R Factory called the album before that “a triumph”. This new record will blow both of those releases out of the water. Every song is a winner, a beautifully produced gem. “There’s nothing that driving down an old dirt road won’t heal”, my granddad once said. Have a listen to “New Day at Dawn” and you’ll be impressed with how Nolen’s crafted an entire album around that wisdom. There’s just one danger in pressing play. This collection of songs will probably be the only thing you’ll listen to all summer long — that is if you are able to move past the infectious first single, “Old Dirt Road.”


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