The Statesboro Revue has released a project that has everyone talkin’ and rightfully, so! Jukehouse Revival was released August 7 and critics and fans alike are raving! Calling it “a bluesy groove,” ” incredibly inspired, technically proficient but spirited jam,” and “a collection of well-crafted, timeless tunes from the best band the rest of America has yet to hear.” I couldn’t agree more with those reviews.
I snagged a few minutes of lead singer Stewart Mann’s time and asked about the release, travelin’ and gigging in Europe and more. Enjoy his answers for this week’s artist spotlight!
Katie: Statesboro Revue’s music is made up of so many genres which when thrown into one big pot make up such a uniquely awesome gumbo of sound…yes, I ate gumbo last night hence the metaphor:) … where did it come from or whom do you attribute the sound of Statesboro Revue?
Stewart: Haha, I LOVE gumbo and I’ll take that as a compliment. As for our sound, I’d like to think it’s due to the fact that I grew up listening to so many different types of music and had awesome parents that were constantly introducing me to different bands/styles/genres. My dad would go from listening to The Eagles and Chicago one minute to Tower of Power and Eric Clapton the next and then on to Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Then I’d be in the car with my mom and we’d listen to bands like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles and then she’d put on Patsy Cline and The Judds. I was constantly exposed to multiple genres, artists, and styles, and I think that helped shape my musical tastes.
My idea from the get-go with Statesboro was to create a unique, groovy sound while not trying to reinvent the wheel too much. I wanted to write songs that appealed to a wide variety of people and made each of them want to tap their feet, slap a knee, bob their head, two step, and/or just have to move some body part because they couldn’t help themselves when they heard our tunes.
Katie: Describe the new CD, Jukehouse Revival, using only 3 words.
Katie: LMAO! Amen! Touring in Europe has really opened up a lot of new fans for you and others in the Texas/Red Dirt scene…tell us what its like touring over there and the receptions you are getting in the different countries?
Stewart: Oh it’s incredible! The folks over there appreciate music so much, and I guess it’s due to the fact that they’re not inundated with it seven days a week. For whatever reason they really like Americana/Texas music, and there’s something about it that appeals to them and they do not hesitate to let you know how they feel. The funny thing about touring Europe is that most of the countries are so small, and so unlike Texas where it takes 8, 10, 12 plus hours to get to some places, you can drive through 4, 5, 6 countries in that same time frame over there.
You get to see different cultures, scenery, experience their food, music, etc. and it’s simply amazing. We have been over there twice now for significant tours and two other times for one offs and we have played ten different countries I believe, and the response is overwhelming, which is why we keep going back. It’s great because each country has it’s own identity and the people are different in each place.
In Spain, they will literally drink every last ounce of booze in a place and tear the roof off the building if they love what they’re hearing. In Germany, it’s more of a respectful listening experience and then they clap only after each song, and you have to take breaks because they won’t even go to the restroom or the bar if you’re playing. After the show is a COMPLETELY different story though in Germany, they can definitely drink some beer! In Sweden and Denmark everyone looks like Barbie and Ken (blonde hair and light eyes) and they are up at the front of the stage going crazy for the music. It literally changes country to country and it makes those trips all the more enjoyable because of it.
It could be a Monday night in Sweden or Spain or Germany, and you might be playing in a town with a population of 300 people, and literally 300 people will come to the show. It’s mind blowing, like don’t any of them have something else going on that’s more important than going to see a show? The answer may be yes, but from our perspective living life and enjoying friends and family and food and wine is their TOP priority. I’m a little envious of their laid back demeanor and lifestyle and sometimes I wish I didn’t focus so much on work, but at the same time it’s the music business and if you’re not focusing on your business/band there are a million other bands out there that will be waiting in line to take advantage of the opportunities that you pass on! Like touring Europe!!
Katie: Jukehouse Revival was released August 7…are you like other artists and already planning out the next CD in your head?
Stewart: Oh yeah, the thing about making records is that by the time the album is released (anywhere from 3-6-9 months after recording) you’re already envisioning the next. It’s just too bad I can’t envision the money to make the next record and then magically make it appear!
Katie: You’ve just been given 1 million dollars towards your next album, whats the first thing you do with the money?
Stewart: Haha, this is great…I hadn’t even read this next question before I gave the previous answer!! If I was given a million dollars towards the next record I’d first of all kiss that person on the mouth (girl or guy I wouldn’t care), and then I’d sit down and start looking for a cabin in the woods somewhere to move the band for a few months and we’d hunt, fish, write, and record the entire album out there. That’s my dream recording session. Just relax and take our sweet time making a record for a change instead of having to rush through the process because it’s so dang expensive!! I’d also probably buy us a brand new van for a change instead of always having to buy used. I would forego buying a tour bus cause that’s how you fall into a financial hole as a band if you can’t back it up with ticket sales and attendance. I’d also probably give each of the band members a HUGE bonus for continuing to believe in the band and in me and the vision that I’ve had from day one. This is a REALLY tough business, with tons of ups and downs, and I have all the respect in the world for all those dreamers out there that try and pursue a career in music.
Dang, Stewart, I wish I could help you make that dream come true!
Meanwhile, music lovers, if you don’t know Statesboro Revue and their music, shame on you. If you know of them and don’t already own all of their CDs, shame on you again! This is the band you NEED to know. Find out more about them here: www.statesbororevue.com.