The Statesboro Revue was formed in March of 2007 after lead singer/primary songwriter Stewart Mann returned from a stint in Los Angeles. Too long so say he. After 7 years of trying his hand in Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles, the native south Texan decided it was time to come back home and return to his roots. So he filled up a uhaul and hit the road never to look back, the kind of guy he is. "The past is what brings us to the present and the future, so treat it as if it's taken you somewhere, not as if it were still here." I would venture to guess that little line has multiple meanings behind it.
On to the band name, which comes from a Blind Willie McTell tune that was covered by The Allman Brothers, who just so happen to be Mann's all-time favorite band. The Revue, as opposed to the commonly misused review, derived from a night when Mann found each of his band members entertaining folks as if each were a member of a circus...we'll just leave that up to the imagination.
After recording a debut album as Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue, with the help of Jacob Sciba(Govt Mule, Taj Mahal, etc) at none other than Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios, the band quickly hit the road, and hit it hard. Playing over 250 shows in 2007 alone (well 9 months anyway), they started turning heads everywhere they played. Playing anywhere and for anyone, they quickly earned the reputation as the hardest working, hardest playing band out there.
After selling over 15,000 records with little to no distribution, Mann was bound and determined to make more waves in 2008. After rotating a few band members, Stewart came across lead/rhythm guitar player Todd Laningham, who Mann calls the "most tasteful tunesmith I know." Already intact was drummer Beau Wadley, who lived on Mann's couch for 6 months after "taking an extended break" from Texas A&M, where Mann spent 2 years prior to his Nashville move. Bass player Rob Alton shortly followed, by way of Boston's esteemed Berklee School of Music. Lead guitar/rhythm guitar player Will Knaak is the latest addition to The Statesboro Revue, and it's with open arms. "Will Knaak commands an audience that's for sure, and between the two of us we feel like we can take down the world, in the most modest way possible." No need to clarify, after seeing them I believe it wholeheartedly.
After playing 300 shows in 2008, show 301 led them to what could be their ticket to a successful future. The Chuggin Monkey on 6th street on a Monday night was the setting, and little did the guys know their playing would bring an important someone in from off the streets. Rose Melillo, whose name has been relatively obscure aside from with industry people up until this point, happened to be in town and out and about on a random night. Lucky for Stewart and the guys, she was listening as a hobo ran off with her pizza. Distraught and needing a drink to settle her nerves she says she heard Stewart's voice from across the street. After stopping in for a listen, she left not expecting to see Stewart again. Shortly thereafter, however, she heard the same voice again inside another bar. Stewart had taken a break and jumped up on stage with friend Sam Sliva across the street from where he was playing. Fate one might ask? Stewart began talking to Rose and the rest is history so they say.
After a few amazing showcases Stewart and the boys are in the midst of signing with Rose and good friends, A&R guru Patrick Clifford(RCA, etc), and Grammy-winning mega producer David Z's(Prince, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Govt Mule, Billy Idol, Fine Young Cannibals, etc) new label venture (yet to be named as of press time). The guys are in the studio with David as we speak and are currently putting together from what I was told an album that will revive a "dying" genre.
With their interweaving of rock, blues, and country, Stewart's innate ability to write songs that touch and move the soul, and musicians that can hang with the best of them, The Statesboro Revue are bound and determined to make 2009 their year. With a live show that reminds me of a cross between the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Black Crowes, Al Green and Van Morrison; equal parts dynamic and soulful vocals, energetic showmanship, delightful musicianship, moving lyricism and melody for days, mixed in with jam band like grooves, this band is the best of everything that existed in the late 60s early 70s. Not since the Black Crowes in the early 90s has a band come out of the woodworks with such piss and fire and the arsenal to back it up. This is one hell of a band. Wesley Higgins Howard County Gazette
Stewart Mann - Vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
HOMETOWN: Austin, TX
GENRE: Rootsy Southern Rock and Roll
RECORD LABEL: Shalley Records / Z Mode Media
INFLUENCES: The Black Crowes, The Allman Brothers Band, The Rolling Stones, The Band, Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, etc.