STEWART MANN & THE STATESBORO REVUE
The Statesboro Revue
By TAMMA HICKS - STEAM MAGAZINE
STEAM How did you come up with your name, Statesboro revue?
SMSR My favorite band of all time are the Almond Brothers, they did a cover of a Blind Willie McTell song called Statesboro Blues and to pay homage to them I used the name Statesboro; which is a town in Georgia I didn’t know until I after I was going to pick a band name and then we just made up revue and we decided to spell it with a “u-e” instead of an “i-e-w”, because we didn’t want people to think we were a newspaper. They still give us hell because we’re not from Georgia. You can’t please everybody is what I’ve figured out over the years.
STEAM I know you and your brother are from Corpus Christi did you have a band here or did you hold off until you went to college?
SMSR I was pretty much into sports when I was growing up. I always sang and loved music and have been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember but I was really focused on sports until about my sophomore year in college; that’s when I really started getting into music and I moved to attend A& M for about 2 years before moving to Nashville. I came back to Corpus for a little bit and had a band. We really didn’t play that often and played traditional country; it was kind of main stream/ traditional country for that time frame, which is pretty different then what we do now. I mean I grew up listening to everything and never really knew what I wanted to get into musically.
In Nashville I just happened to get a hold of a good manager. We made a 6 song EP with Flip Anderson, who did a bunch of Tracy Lawrence’s records in the 90’s, and it was great. Playing shows were fun, I tell you, I don’t know if we were charging a lot more money back then but I made more money when I first started playing then I have since. I was a young kid so I thought; “this is the life, I could easily do this forever,” then I quickly realized there isn’t any money to be made in music.
STEAM I agree, I think it’s more of an addiction.
SMSR I would much rather be bustin’ my butt at somethin’ I love and believe in, then bustin’ my butt at something that I hate doin’ or somethin’ that just gets me through life. It’s defiantly a very, very tuff business; it’s just kind of day to day and an emotional roller coaster that’s for sure. Some days you’ll have a album come out that debuts at #25 on the Itunes albums cart and you’re on the highest of highs and then 4 days later you lose a manager or booking agent or a show is canceled and your down in the dumps. Only to turn right back around and open up for somebody or go play a huge show in front of a 1000 people and you’re right back up again. It’s defiantly not for the faint of heart but at the same time like I said if it’s something you love, and I think like you were saying, musicians are something that, it’s not only like an addiction but it’s who you are; it identifies you as a human being and that’s something that you can’t really get away from. Once you’ve invested time and energy into this career, it’s hard to get away from.
STEAM How often do you guys get to play in the Corpus area?
SMSR Not very often, maybe once every 4 or 5 months. We do Brewster Street Ice House and Giggity’s in Port Aransas every once in a while. You know since Brewster’s and Concrete came in to Corpus they have done a lot of good for the city and the people. When I first started playing music in Corpus the only place to really play was the Executive surf Club because there just weren’t many venues to play. Now the market is opening up; especially with the local radio stations here playing independent music.
STEAM Very true! Tell me about your album, Ramble on Privilege Creek.
SMSR This is the first record I’ve done with my brother, Garrett, who came on board about three and a half years ago. We thought that since this is our first record together and music is in our blood, both our great grandfather and grandfather played music, we would title the album after our heritage. Our great grandfather was in a band called The Bluebonnet Ramblers, so that’s where Ramble comes from and our grandma lives on Privilege Creek, which is up in the Hill Country. It’s kind of a hard name to grasp, the title and the band name, but once you get to know it and know the story behind it, you understand. The album was a long time coming and we just wanted it to be more earthy, full, warm, and rootsy. I guess you could say the last album was a great production but we were pressed for time, so this time I knew we didn’t want to rush and the stuff I was listening to and the stuff I was writing was different – a little more Americana, more folk, more country than what we’vedone in the past. On Ramble on Privilege Creek I believe we used 16 or 17 different instruments; which is crazy. Don’t ask me to list them because I can’t remember them all.
STEAM So where did you record Ramble on Privilege Creek?
SMSR The album came out in April 2013. We produced it ourselves and Steve Ledet was the engineer. He had heard about a guy with an old house full of old-school analog equipment in great condition and Steve told us that if we were serious about the earthy tones we’d been discussing that this would be a great place for us to record. It really wasn’t a studio it was a house, so we recorded in the same bedrooms we slept in.
STEAM So when we listen to the songs can we tell if you made your bed or not? (laughing)
SMSR No, but if you listen closely you can hear the AC unit cutting in and out during some of the vocals. (laughing) Which really was what we were looking for, because people have become so concerned with getting everything absolutely perfect; and for this album we took a very organic approach and got exactly what we wanted.
STEAM What are your future plans?
SMSR Well, we started the year with a tour in Europe and that has been one of our focuses, to broaden our European presence. With that in mind, we went back in July for a show and will be headed there again this month for a couple of shows. But we aren’t letting up on our schedule here in the States and are planning to head out to the Southeast and East coast for shows. We are also working to get back into the studio.
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