The Statesboro Revue: Texas Pride And Rootsy Rock ‘n’ Roll

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The Statesboro Revue are a recent discovery of mine, and I for one am
really enjoying their blend of genres yet still country sensibilities. They
have the ability to craft really great songs with depth and emotion, and are a
more-than-satisfactory soundtrack for any day, season or situation. Texas-based
and led by impressive vocalist Stewart Mann, I sat down to interview Stewart to
find out a little bit more about the band, their new record ‘Ramble On
Privilege Creek’, and his story.

Hi
Stewart! First of all, can you sum up the Statesboro Revue and the music in a
couple of lines?
Soulful, heartfelt, and genuine rockin’ roots
music that's tinged with the storytelling aspect of country music as well as
the raw, bluesy approach of American rock ‘n’ roll.

What
makes you different?

My singing and songwriting approach and overall production style is my
attempt at establishing a unique sound/style without straying too far from the
very music that inspired me to get into music in the first place.

Your
latest album is called ‘Ramble On Privilege Creek’. Tell me about this title,
where does it come from, and what made you choose it?

This is my brother and I's first record together and our grandma (Nanaw)
lives on Privilege Creek near Pipe Creek,TX. Our great-grandfather was in a
band called Emil Mann and The Bluebonnet Ramblers and we thought what better
way to pay homage to our roots than to include different characteristics about
our family. I'm now in a family band, which is a pretty cool deal.

Tell me
about the writing and recording process for this album. How did it come about,
what inspired it, and how does it differ to previous albums?

The writing for this record occurred over a period of about 3 years, so
my brother and I had a pretty vast and diverse catalog to choose from when it
came to picking 12 songs to put on the record. Writing-wise, speaking for
myself I started really listening to more of the rootsy, Americana music I
listened to growing up, which at the time was considered rock ‘n’ roll. The
Eagles, The Allman Brothers, Elton John, even artists like Taj Mahal, Howlin
Wolf, and Van Morrison came back into the mix after a couple of years of just
collecting dust in my record collection. As for the actual recording, we took a
very organic, well rounded approach to the overall sound. We wanted earthy,
warm, real music with poignant, relatable lyricism, and wanted to make sure the
instrumentation did an adequate job of presenting the most important thing
about a song…the song itself. If a song can't be a great song with just a voice
and a guitar then something needs to be changed in my opinion. We're not out
there making house music or heavy rock ‘n’ roll, we just want to play groove
based music that people can relate to, most of the time anyway.

Favorite
track on the album?

I'd have to say ‘Wildflower’ is probably my favorite song on the record
mainly because of how hard it was to get it right and the various things we
added (harmony, shaker, harmonica, etc) last minute. I love the overall easygoing,
peaceful, loving charm of the tune.

How do
you think your strong identity as a Texas band affects the music you create?

I think we'd be foolish to say that we're not influenced by our
predecessors. There have been SO many artists come out of Texas, in SO many
genres, that it's really cool to not have to look far when trying to find
various inspiration. So much talent, and 90% of that talent goes unnoticed.

With that
in mind, what are yours and the rest of the band’s musical influences?

his question could take days to answer….our influences range from Van
Morrison to Otis Redding to Marshall Tucker to Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes,
The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, The Meters, and even a little
bit of Nickelback. Haha, I'm totally kidding about the Nickelback thing,
they're in my top 3 least favorite bands of all time.

You’ve
also done things outside of the Statesboro Revue, including auditioning for The
Voice last year. Tell me a bit about that experience, and how did it feel when
you never got your chance to perform for the coaches?

Oh man, the experience was amazing, a paid month long vacation to LA.
That's the way I look at it. Was it hard to put in that much effort, and force
the band to basically sit back and wait for me to finish it up? Absolutely. I
was literally in a holding cell of sorts with my parents and other contestants
around me. I had been through hair and makeup and had done a run through of my
song. The producer comes in and tells 35 of us (out of the top 120) that the
teams had been filled and we were all being sent home. I got absolutely wasted
that night and wound up terrorizing my hotel room. Jokes on them!

You also
had the starring role in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Any other plans or
projects you’re undertaking solo?

The Buddy Holly deal was one of the highlights of my career, and I'd
love to do something like that again if the right situation presents itself.
Other than that, my brother and I have begun the initial phase of creating a
couple of side projects just to fully utilize our creative desires. I think
once a band finds its niche and direction (even though we're still learning
ours), sometimes it's a necessity to go out and try different styles of music
in an effort to avoid boredom and complacency.

You’re
really starting to see some big success, with Billboard and Country Weekly
talking about you. How are the band dealing with this, and what’s the next
step?

Until we start selling out amphitheaters I think we're all just trying
to survive and put out the best music and show we possibly can. When you
struggle as a musician for 13 some odd years like I have it's a little hard to
define success and even harder to let any bit of it get to your head. I do know
this, we're beyond thrilled at the response to this new record, and we have a
LONG way to go and a LOT of music left in us.

Are you
on tour now or have a tour in the works? If so, where can fans purchase
tickets?

We basically play 225-250 shows/year all around the country, and are planning
on first European tour in January 2014. As for tickets to our shows, most of
them can be found on our website and/or the venues' websites.

Finally,
tell me something random/quirky about your or the members of the band that fans
don’t already know. Could be hobbies, interests, secret talents, cool/funny
anecdotes, etc.

This is a tricky question to come up with answers we can share with the
general public. I'd say for one our bass player Ben Bradshaw is a kickboxing
master! Our drummer is a legit chef, and actually quit a high profile job to
join the band…my brother Garrett could have been a professional golfer, and I
have aspirations of being a professional blackjack player (I once won
$40k–then lost most of it back!).

You can
find The Statesboro Revue on their website.

Posted by Vickye.
If you want to check out my own blog
it's For The Country
Record
, and you can follow me on
twitter @planmymistake. You can email
me at vickye.countrymusic@gmail.com.

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